PLANET TAD by Tim Carvell


Age Range: 10 - 12
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A phoned-in Diary of a Wimpy Kid wannabe from a Mad Magazine and Daily Show writer.

Based on a blog of the same name that runs in Mad, the narrative is framed as nearly daily entries over the course of a calendar year by a middle-school Seinfeld. The content is entirely predictable. He skates on or over the edge of embarrassment while trying to be noticed by girls, generally comes out second best in dealings with his gifted little sister and briefly lands a summer job wearing a hot-dog suit. He joins several of his classmates in making a (wait for it) science-project volcano and records many similarly unexceptional experiences and encounters. These entries are thickly padded with a monotonous litany of callow opinions on dozens of cultural markers from various commercial mascots (including Ronald McDonald) to TV shows (Jeopardy, for example) and movies (Jurassic Park, among many others). These share space with complaints about minor annoyances like gum in water-fountain drains and superficially clever ruminations about why “werewolves” aren’t called “arewolves,” the nature of Santa’s reindeer games and like burning topics. Moreover, he decides that his school mascot, movies about volcanoes, work and a mind-numbing catalog of other irritations all “suck.”

So does this tedious effort to climb aboard the bandwagon. (line drawings, mood icons) (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-193436-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2012


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