LEON AND THE SPITTING IMAGE by Allen Kurzweil

LEON AND THE SPITTING IMAGE

Age Range: 8 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

At least as appealing as fictional toilets and underpants, is spit, which figures prominently in this tale of wish-fulfillment. Leon, developmentally delayed in manual dexterity, is bedeviled by his stitchery-obsessed fourth-grade teacher whose requirement for promotion is a “masterpiece” sewn with 11 stitches per inch. Leon crafts a perfect replica of his teacher and discovers that, by soaking it in the Coach’s tobacco spit he can move the doll, magically controlling Miss Hagmeyer’s behavior. The results are food fights between teachers and gravity-defying displays of jump-rope proficiency. This contains a collection of goofy secondary characters, including Leon’s supportive mother who works nights in a hotel that welcomes pets, and a monster of a hotel ice machine that keeps Leon sleep-deprived. The plot veers giddily out of control as Leon and his friends scheme revenge against the teacher and the school bully, leaving some of the most interesting characters and plot strands behind. This will probably not matter to young readers who think that spit is the funniest thing since underpants. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-053930-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2003




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