Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

Look, Lenore. 2009. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters. With illustrations by LeUyen Pham. Random House. 170 pages.

You will know some things about me if you have read a book called Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. But you won't know all about me, so that is why there is now this second book.

As I mentioned in my review of Alvin Ho, Allergic to Girls, Schools and Other Scary Things, I just love, love, love Alvin Ho. (So much so that I'm urging my mom to read them!) Did I love this second book as much as the first book? Yes! I loved it just as much if not more. I don't know that I could *really* choose between the two books. I just love Alvin so much--can relate to Alvin so much--can feel what he feels, see the world as he sees it, that the books just feel oh-so-right to me. What's this one about? Well, it's about a father-and-son camping trip. A trip that gets interrupted by little Anibelly. A trip that doesn't go exactly as planned. But a funny, unforgettable trip all the same!

As you might have guessed, Alvin doesn't exactly want to go camping. Not even with his dad who is his best friend on account of him saving Alvin's life "seven hundred and fourteen times eight" and "mostly in the nick of time." One particular moment stands out to me in this one--that just me all warm and cozy inside--this is when Alvin makes his will the night before going camping. (He's not sure he'll return.)

My Last Will and Testament

I, Alvin, being of scaredy mind and scaredier body, hereby leave to my brother, Calvin, the following:

my old toothbrush (I'm taking my new one with me)
my silver dollar
my Houdini kit
all my socks under my bed.

And to my sister, Anibelly, I leave:
my carved sticks collection
one piece of sea glass
my Firecracker Man outfit, maybe

To My dog, Lucy, I leave my tennis balls

To my dad I leave my baseball glove, maybe.

And to my mom, I leave all my love. (89, 91)
The book is charming and funny and cute and sweet. It's never too cute or too sweet. I don't want to give the impression that it is oh-so-darling or anything. It's a funny book, a book that I think boys and girls would enjoy reading. (I think it would make a GREAT read aloud.)

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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