Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eddie Pipper by Janeen Brian

This book is from a junior chapter book series called Little Rockets.  I am only going to say it was okay - not great.  My biggest problem with this book was the age of the main character Eddie.

Eddie is obsessed with penguins he is also an absent minded child.  In the story he is eight years old about to turn nine but I really thought his behavior and reactions were more suited to a younger child of about five or six.  Eddie Pipper reminded me of Penguins in the 'Fridge (this is a much better book).  Eddie wants a penguin so badly he decides to make a paper-mache one to show his parents he is able to care for a pet.  He has had two bad mishaps with pets in the past - his mice escaped and the goldfish died from lack of food.  Eddie runs out of paper for his craft so he takes some paper strips from his dad's study.  It turns out these were plans for an origami competition and so Eddie is in big trouble.

The way Eddie forgets everything is so far fetched.  He forgets his bus money and so he super glues coins to his palm. Naturally he cannot pay the bus fare. He forgets his swimmers and has to swim in his pyjama pants which are decorated with penguins but the most unbelievable part is at the end when he forgets to go straight home and misses part of his own birthday party.  His mum had invited a wildlife carer to bring a real penguin but Eddie arrives home too late and the penguin has left.

The ending is not really surprise and instead of being quite joyful it just left me feeling flat.  I am sorry to be so critical.  This book does have a place in our library for younger readers who are ready for a simple chapter book.  The first chapter is good fun.

"His mum stood in the kitchen.  She was wearing her straight-mouthed look and her eyes glistened like two icicles.  She was pointing to the fridge door as she was doing a telly ad. She could've been saying, 'Look how much we can fit into out two door family fridge.  You should buy one too.'  Only her finger was stiff like a fish finger and she tapped her foot.  'Fridge door. Open. You?' Eddie nodded.  Why did his mum talk like she was texting him?  He was right in front of her."

Here is a web site for the series and we have all them in our collection. Janeen Brian has written lots of books and nearly all of them are in our school library.  I recently review Wishbone which I loved.

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