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“My son & I love the Aldo Zelnick Comic Novels written by Karla Oceanak and illustrated by Kendra Spanjer,” writes Denise B. on her blog SoCal City Kids. “We’ve read all of them starting with Artsy-Fartsy. Glitch is the seventh title in the award-winning series. This book continues with the laugh-out-loud adventures of 10-year-old Aldo Zelnick. The holiday season has arrived and Aldo grows a little greedy when he comes up with a plan to get glorious gifts galore, a plan he fondly refers to as Triple G. But will he get away with it under the gaze of Gnome-in-the-Home Griswold? We couldn’t stop laughing and wondering how this fun book would end. Would Aldo get all the gifts he asked for or none at all? This one was so fun to read that we read it during two bedtime story-times! We just couldn’t put it down. The perfect book for this holiday season!”
Egghead “continu(es) Aldo’s personal growth as he realizes the value of making an effort to communicate with others on their own terms rather than making them do all the work,” writes Sarah, the children’s book buyer at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, who blogs as Page Appropriate.
Denise B., on her website SoCal City Kids, had this to say about Finicky:
“‘Is the book here yet?’ asked my son at the end of September, and he added, ‘I really wouldn’t mind getting it for my birthday.’ Really? An 8- (almost 9) year-old boy saying a book was fine for his birthday? Well, only when it is a book in the Aldo Zelnick series! Finicky continues the laugh-out loud adventures of 10-year-old Aldo Zelnick as he fights against F.E.A.S.T, the school’s new, healthy-yet pizza-less lunch program and learns about Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the famous 16th century artist who painted portraits of people from food. My son couldn’t stop laughing! Kids are not only entertained by the characters but they also learn new words. Now, how cool is that?!”
Feast on the full review here.
The International Reading Association’s ezine Reading Today Online recently coddled Egghead. Here’s an excerpt:
“Filled with many humorous moments, the book is engaging to read and introduces surprising amounts of science information and experiments casually. It is a good example of a writing mentor text with a perfect narrative voice and pictures that tell their own story.”
Read the full review here.
This book round-up, compiled by San Fransisco school librarian Liz Mabey, was recently posted on Not Just a Working Mom’s blog:
“As the mom of boys ages 10 and 12, Liz has serious concerns about books that emphasize the crass and cruel side of the tween years, and don’t honor the tender hearts we’ve cultivated in our own kids. Here are some titles that introduce the middle-school years with respect, humor, and a reasonable dose of reality, best for grades 4 & up:
Origami series by Tom Angleberger – kids trying to navigate confusing friendships and crushes in age-appropriate ways. I love how these books model self-reflection and show respect for kids’ feelings without appearing to teach a lesson.
Aldo Zelnick series by Karla Oceanak—Aldo is a talented artist, but can’t decide whether he’s willing to let his non-standard talent shine. His diverse group of family and friends are featured in his journal-style books that feature text and graphic sections.
The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. Set during and just after the Vietnam wars at two different middle & high schools, this pair of titles would be appropriate for 5th grade and up readers ready for the next level of poignancy and cultural literacy in humorous episodic novels.
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass. (California Young Reader Medal, 2011). Narrated in turns by an appearance-obsessed aspiring model and an isolated, home-schooled astronomy enthusiast, this story of weathering life’s changes is thoughtful and captivating.
In their new review of All Me, All the Time, Bamboo magazine says, “Playful and silly at times, this ‘art’-o-biographic journal encourages kids to identify and conceptualize their ideas, desires and goals while practicing writing, sentence structure and essay concept—fun for the entire family! (Bamboo suggests taking some time to fill out the entire book with your child and then put it away for some time…remembering is part of the fun!)”
Read the whole review here.
Egghead has won Silver in the 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in the Comic/Graphic Novel category! The awards are “intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading.” Hear, hear!
“This year’s Moonbeam award winners confirm that books can change children’s lives,” says Moonbeam Awards founder Jerrold Jenkins, father of four children ranging in ages 9 to 19. “They’ve already had a big impact on the judges and the kids that read them, so we know these books were created to enrich children’s lives. The Moonbeams are all about rewarding these books and bringing them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians – and to kids themselves.”
“The Aldo Zelnick books beautifully bring together a journal format, a vocabulary rich story, and important life lessons, to give readers a memorable reading experience,” writes reviewer Marya Jansen-Gruber. See her full unbogus review of Bogus here.
In its Ink Splot blog post on Wimpy Kid Readalikes, Scholastic listed Artsy-Fartsy as one of 13 “other funny books for ages 9-12 about life, school, and just being a regular kid.” Aldo loves hanging out with such primo peers!
Blogger Denise Bloomfield of socalcitykids.com writes that her son loves the Aldo Zelnick books as much as Wimpy Kid because “the series is epic and Aldo is cool.” Here’s their glowing review of Egghead.