Friday, April 08, 2016

Guy Friday: Teddy Mars: Almost a Winner

25815648Burnham, Molly. Teddy Mars: Almost a Winner (#2)
March 22nd 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
ARC from Young Adult Books Central

Teddy is back after Teddy Mars: Almost a Record Breaker, and this time he is hard at work on a school Invention Convention project. He and friends Lonnie and Viva have an idea for a dog pooper scooper, and Teddy finds that he enjoys making the model and working out the problems with it more than he expects. Of course, he's also interested in working on his record breaking, but it ends poorly almost every time. Over spring break, Lonnie and Viva get sent to grandparents to keep them from being injured in the attempts, and Teddy realizes that he needs to spend more time on his project than on his record breaking. Meanwhile, his younger brother is becoming friends with the Grumpy Pigeon Man and taking Teddy's place, which he resents. In the end, an enthusiastic teacher, supportive family, and good friends who put up with his wacky antics help Teddy to achieve his goals, no matter how goofy they happen to be. 

This heavily illustrated chapter book is a great choice for readers of Lincoln Peirce, Holly Kowitt's The Loser List, and Fry's Odd Squad books. It's also perfect for handing to readers who are enamored of The Guinness Book of World Records, since Teddy often cites actual records. I can see the record book being used to check the records that Teddy talks about! 

Lonnie is very interested in science, and Viva is absolutely fearless when dealing with the boys and the frozen chocolate pudding faux dog poop! It's nice to see classmates working well together. Ms. Raffeli runs a very vibrant classroom, and a book that shows children interested in learning is always something I'm glad to see. 

Teddy's family is very busy-- with seven children in the family, things get rather hectic! I find it hard to believe that Teddy's younger brother, aka "The Destructor" is allowed to cover himself with pigeon poo and feathers-- there's got to be some sort of horrible disease you can get from breathing in the bird dander, if nothing else. Still, by the seventh child, you can see why the mother doesn't choose to battle about this one. 

Humorous books that appeal to elementary readers are always in demand, and the fact that this involves the Invention Convention will make this book one that many readers pick up to see if they can get some ideas for their own research. 

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