School Library Journal Shelves Aldo Between Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants

A review of Cahoots, in the November 1, 2011 issue:

Aldo is a technophile who enjoys playing online sim games. His latest favorite is “Farm Town,” which is ironic because a trip to an actual farm is what his parents have planned for their family vacation. This means trading in their electronics for hay baling and butter making but it also seems as though Aldo’s twin cousins have it in for him. Are they in cahoots about something? A blend of a graphic novel and a journal, this series can be used for building a glossary of words with the same initial letter. This “C” volume, which comes on the heels of Artsy-Fartsy (2009) and Bogus (2010, both Bailiwick) brings in “cockamamie,” “cagey,” “calligraphy,” and “clomping.” Featured words have an asterisk in the text and are defined in the gallery at the back. This gimmick does not get in the way of the enjoyment of the story. An extra bonus is a feature on the word “cryptophasia,” also known as “twin speak.” This book will appeal to kids not yet ready for the middle-school life portrayed in Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series (Abrams) but who have aged out of the irreverent potty humor of Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” series (Scholastic).

–Kathleen Meulen Ellison, Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island, WA

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