Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mr Chickee's funny money by Christopher Paul Curtis

We all dream about ways to get rich quick but what would you do if someone gave you a bank note with a one and fifteen zeros on it? It is a quadrillion dollar note. But is it real? Can Steven really cash it in?

There are some really fun little incidents in this terrific book. Early in First Grade Steven asks his teacher how big is a million. The teacher suggests the class collect bottle tops but she doesn’t realize the kids will all rise to this great challenge. After just six months they have collected 635,541 bottle tops. Their weight makes the classroom floor collapse! This causes the Principal to summon the teacher to explain… “The janitor assured me that the collapse of my closet floor into the Kindergarten room (unoccupied) has caused the death of at least two and a half million cockroaches. These disgusting and unfortunate insects have been using your project as an incubator for the past six months.”

Other terrific ideas in this story include a dictionary with attitude, very odd parents, an amazing vinyl record collection and the biggest dog with the biggest slobbery lick in the whole world.

Warning don’t read chapter 13 after eating a big meal. Zoopy the dog eats everything and I mean everything Steven can find in the kitchen and fridge.

Is the money real? Can Steven spend his fortune? The twists and turns of this plot will leave you breathless and like Agent Fondoo, from the treasury department, you might also be left trying to stick your tongue into your left nostril!

One other thing. Steven knows when he has pushed his dad too far because he has an excellent sass meter. I really like this idea.

I absolutely enjoyed the two other books by Christopher Paul Curtis that I read many years ago – The Watson’s go to Birmingham and Bud not Buddy but these are for very senior students. Mr Chickee’s Funny Money will be enjoyed by middle Primary readers especially those who aspire to become accomplished detectives.

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