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WHAT A TRIP, AMBER BROWN by Paula Danziger


by Paula Danziger & illustrated by Tony Ross

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23469-1
Publisher: Putnam

This Amber Brown easy reader, aimed at younger readers than the originals, feels choppy and a little too involved with bathroom humor for its own good, even considering the audience. Amber and her pal Justin are headed to the mountains for a vacation with their moms and Justin's three-year-old brother Danny. The journey starts out with the kids horsing around in the car—“Poke a nose. Poke a nose," they guffaw, headed as they are for the Poconos—and then Danny "making a really disgusting sound": Yup, Danny's put his diapers to good use. When they finally arrive, Amber and Justin head for the swimming pool, though Amber isn't much of a swimmer, unlike Justin, who cavorts like a fish. "Actually, Justin and I call it the swimming 'ool' because our moms told us that there must not be any pee in the pool." (That passes for the educational content of the book, that and "Oh dear—a deer.") Later, they have a sleep-out with their fathers, who have come for the weekend, which is crashed by the uninvited Danny, but a neat time is had by all. Ross's warm artwork feels lost in Danziger's seemingly random text that spends most of its time taking stabs at infantile humor. On the other hand, this and its companion, It's Justin Time, Amber Brown (ISBN 0-399-23470-5), will serve as primers for the Captain Underpants crowd. (Easy reader. 5-8)