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Wimpy Arthur Rinehart, bird watcher, serves as coxswain to his millionaire grandmother and her 17-year-old chauffeur, Hal Slappy, as they sweep the ""Read More"" to victory in the President's Cup Regatta. Veteran character Arthur is trying to console himself for best friend Zan's summer absence by spotting a few special birds. Dr. Rinehart, a librarian wealthy because of the invention of a book shelver, bribes Hal to help the water-shy boy with his quest. Spurred on by Dr. Rinehart's willingness to undertake the necessary rigorous training and incidentally publicize the joy of reading, the three get involved in the race that is finally won when Zan turns up and fees a caged lazuli bunting just in time to prompt a mighty shout from the normally soft-voiced coxswain, catapulting his crew to victory. Knudson's humor is based on exaggeration, sometimes outrageously broad--Arthur does all athletic Zan's schoolwork, and Hal can do anything and drive a car at the same time; and on a pungent, staccato style, slipping in quick repartee and ungrammatical or rude colloquialisms for interest and various tidbits of information for erudition. Her wacky plot is carefully worked out, although it's not clear that Grandma will get her heart's desire of making the world want to read. Light, but entertaining.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1987
Page count: 111pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux