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by William Joyce, illustrated by MoonBot Studios

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-7347-8
Publisher: Atheneum

A guide to the elusive creatures responsible for everyday ills offers kids the ultimate book of excuses.

Why are some things always sticky? Who hid the remote? What does an earworm really look like? Two children plagued by a series of inexplicable events make the acquaintance of Dr. Zooper. He encourages them to read his guide, The Mischievians, billed as “An encyclopedia of things that make mischief, make mayhem, make noise, and make you CRAZY!” Here, the kids learn about critters like the Sock Stalker, which only steals one of any pair, or the File Sucker, a subspecies of the better-known Homework Eater. With his customary flair, Joyce brings to life all manner of benign but annoying mischief-makers, ending the book with the kids (and the readers) determined to identify even more. Written for the most part in Q-and-A fashion, the book lends itself to both browsing and reading all in one fell swoop. This being Joyce, the creatures aren’t half as disgusting as they could be (even when they’re luring boogers out of noses or raising blisters on toes).

Successfully tapping into the human need to find explanations for all-too-common annoyances, this book charms with its intricacy. (Picture book. 4-8)