Friday, August 21, 2015

Book review - Desmond Pucket 1&2

Title: Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic
         Desmond Pucket and the Mountain Full of Monsters
Author: Mark Tatulli
Genre: humor
Similar books: The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
                     The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
wicked fun
Summary: In book one, we find Desmond trying to get through the sixth grade without getting expelled. It would be easier if he could stop pulling pranks, a vice he can't seem to resist. If he can't stay out of trouble for the rest of the year he'll be banned from the class trip to Crab Shell Pier. And he must ride the Mountain Full of Monsters!

In book two, Desmond has made it to Crab Shell Pier at last. He has a plan to go on his favorite ride with the girl of his dreams. If only he could get away from Mr. Needles. Matters are complicated when he gets bad news about his favorite ride.

My opinion: Because Tatulli is primarily a comic strip artist (he's the creator of the largely wordless surreal strip "Lio") he has an excellent sense of visual timing. Thus, Tatulli uses the illustrations in these books to full effect. While Desmond is a prankster with a fondness for the macabre, his pranks come from a sense of fun and pleasant fear rather than anything truly malicious (excepting those he plays on his older sister), making him a likable, if somewhat odd, character. I liked the emphasis on planning and design before Desmond pulls any stunt, encouraging the same process thinking from readers .The plots are a little silly but in an entertaining way. Desmond Puckett is a solid choice fore young, fun-loving mischief makers.

More information: Currently available in hardcover, both of these books will be released in paperback August 25.
Advanced Reader copy provided by NetGalley.

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