With an older brother who is a talented athlete, a sister who is gifted, and little brother who is cute, fourth-grade...

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"TOENAILS, TONSILS, AND TORNADOES"

With an older brother who is a talented athlete, a sister who is gifted, and little brother who is cute, fourth-grade Martin, first encountered in Vinegar Pancakes and Vanishing Cream (1987) feels ordinary. His Aunt Henrietta arrives, taking over his room, training for the Boston Marathon, and planning a giant family reunion. Martin likes Brianne, the new girl in class, but his old girlfriend, Marcia, is jealous (a great deal of the story concerns Martin's mooning around over his girl troubles). He ends up playing Becky Thatcher in a local theater production of Tom Sawyer, and both he and his sister have their tonsils out. A combination of inappropriate precocity and bathroom humor makes for a prolonged episodic novel with no clear storyline. Readers who think repetitive jokes about smelly feet and a preschoolers toilet training are the height of hilarity may find parts of this book appealing. The rest will find it endless. Cogancherry's ever-capable black-and-white illustrations can't redeem such a listless outing.

Pub Date: May 20, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1997