Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects...

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-Made Catastrophes. Lenore Look. 2010. September 2010. Random House. 192 pages.

My name is Alvin Ho. I was born scared, and I am still scared. I never thought I'd live to see myself in another book, on account I could've very well died camping in that last one.

Last year I discovered a wonderful, wonderful character named Alvin Ho. The first book: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. The second book: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters. I love so many things about Alvin. His shyness. His awkwardness. His charm. There is something vulnerable and adorable about Alvin that I adore. I love how he relates to his brother, Calvin, and his sister, Anibelly. I love how he relates to his parents. And then there is his best friend, Flea, even if she does happen to be a girl.

What does the third adventure bring? Two birthday parties. On the same day. One for his best friend, Flea. The other for one of the boys in his class. Conflict. You know there has to be conflict, right with two conflicting birthday parties scheduled the same day. Flea sent him an invitation. He said he'd go. He even (with his mom's help) picked out a birthday present for her. But. The day before the party, he gets invited to the other birthday party. And it sounds like fun. The guys will all be dressing up. (Alvin really, really wants to dress up as an Indian chief. I wish he wasn't so interested in dressing up and "playing" Indian.)

Of course, that is just a part of the conflict. Not taking into account the field trip with all the dead authors walking around. And Calvin's science project. And Alvin having a big talk with his dad on how to talk to a girl. That is found in chapter ten.
How to Talk To A Girl:

1. Listen with both ears.
2. Look her in the eye.
3. Nod or smile to show that you are doing no. 1.
4. Use your indoor voice.
5. Don't scream.
6. Don't carry a concealed weapon.
7. Don't carry a weapon period.
8. Don't wear a mask.
9. Don't burp.
10. Don't fart.
11. Don't do anything you think might impress her. (See 5 to 10)
12. Just be yourself.
13. Show no fear.
While I didn't love this one as much as the first two, I still enjoyed it. Well, parts of it at least. There were scenes that were just hilarious. Scenes where the humor really worked. And then there were other scenes--some of these being shown in the illustrations--that were just uncomfortable and disappointing.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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