A modern prankster meets his match when a medieval prankster-turned-genie is lodged in his nose in this humor-of-the-gross series starter.
Prince Loogar considers himself the prince of pranks. He’s also the son of the king of Garoth, an invented kingdom in a medieval England where ogres run rampant and wizards can turn enemies into genies. After hoaxing the castle wizard, Loogar is captured in a tiny bead, discovered around 800 years later by Charlie, who collects it for a craft project. Charlie is a good-natured mischief-maker whose father enjoys trading jokes with him—but when one of Charlie’s teachers decides to quit, Charlie and his friends worry their hijinks could have been the cause. After getting Prince Loogar lodged in his nose, Charlie has a malevolent genie complicating his tricks—until Loogar learns that only good deeds will free him from his curse and possibly return him to his own time. The silly conceits of Prince Loogar’s castle leave no doubt that there’s scant resemblance between his England and the historical one, but Charlie feels like an authentic grade schooler. The booger jokes, the silly shenanigans and the sorry state of Loogar living in Charlie’s nose are sure to win over the Captain Underpants crowd. The illustrations by Herholz and Castle are reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s illustrations for Roald Dahl’s classic novels. The plot is slight, and the abrupt ending—in which Loogar learns he must do more than one good deed to be free of his curse—feels like a stopping point rather than a conclusion, even of a first installation. What remains is a lightweight tale of slapstick comedy with slight characters and an obvious lesson about being considerate of other people. With its accessible vocabulary and gross-out humor, the slim volume has the potential to be a hit with reluctant readers, especially boys.
A mixed bag of silliness and magic that will appeal to those who are hooked by the title—and fall short for readers who roll their eyes at booger jokes.