Series: Aldo Zelnick Comic Novels
Written by Karla Oceanak
Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press 9/15/2015
160 pages Age 8—12
“HEAR YE, HEAR YE!”
“The Dana Elementary 5th grade Medieval Faire approacheth! We get to dress like knights and kings and damsels, plus play games, drink from gold goblets, feast on turkey legs, etcetera. Sounds fun, right? Well it is fun . . . until your best friends decide that if you’re gonna be knights, you should act knightly too. Turns out that doing good deeds, fighting unfairness, and telling the Truth aren’t easy—especially when a real dark knight comes along. And then there’s the Easter Bunny. Don’t even get me started about that cagey character. (P. S. look for the K words and illustrated Word Gallery at the back of the book.)” [back cover]
Aldo Zelnick and best friends Jack and Bee are back for another fun-filled, letter K obsessed comic novel. Told from Aldo’s point-of-view—it is his
diary journal—art supplements the text on nearly every page. This time around, the kids are excited about the 5th grade Medieval Faire. Aldo and Jack become knights with a duty to perform “knightly things.” As Jack puts it,
“. . . knights are all about quests and fighting for what’s right . . .”
Bee becomes a damsel. (What? Really?) Correction: Bee will not be a damsel, because, as she tells the boys, she is not in distressKerfuffle, (a disturbance or fuss), continually confronts the three knights. Oddly, the big ado involves a band called Kerfuffle, a baked sale interrupted by a seemingly vicious stray, and a large amount of missing money. Aldo becomes the prime suspect accused by the black knight. To add to Aldo’s problems, the black night his brother Timothy’s new friend.
As in books A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I*, and J Kerfuffle humorously engages readers. There is enough text to keep the story humming along, but not so much as to crowd out Aldo’s wonderful illustrations, which greatly enhance the story. Kids will love the black and white “doodles,” especially Aldo’s comic series “Bacon Boy.” Middle grade kids—reluctant readers included—will love this series. The characters are believable, multi-dimensional, likable, and in many ways familiar to everyday life. Well-written characters will stick with you long after the last page is turned. Aldo, Jack, and Bee are those types of characters. Reluctant readers will appreciate the short chapters.Kerfuffle is the eleventh book in Aldo’s series, which is similar to The Wimpy Kid, although Kerfuffle’s detailed illustrations contribute more to the overall story. Aldo Zelnick books introduce new words beginning with the title’s first letter. Kerfuffle, then, has words beginning with the letter “K.” Examples include kaleidoscope, killjoy, kvetching, and kohlrabi. The glossary defines each “K” word (highlighted in the story with an asterisk). I wrote in a previous review that kids would laugh their hinnies off, no external exercise needed. This remains true. Each Aldo Zelnick edition stands on its own, so start the series with Kerfuffle and work backwards, if you are so inclined.
There is one last detail I cannot ignore. The Easter Bunny makes candid appearances, but only to Aldo. Aldo becomes obsessed with capturing the fluffy rabbit. He also takes a lot of flack from family and friends. No one else believes the E.B. is real. (They are so wrong.)
Next Up: Logjam: An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel (#12) scheduled for release next July, 2016
KERFUFFLE: AN ALDO ZELNICK COMIC NOVEL (#11). Text copyright © 2015 by by Karla Oceanak. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kendra Spanjer. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Bailiwick Press, Fort Collins, CO.
Meet the author, Karla Oceanak, at her website: http://www.karlaoceanak.com/
Blog Facebook Twitter @karlaosh
Meet the illustrator, Kendra Spanjer, at her website: http://www.kendraspanjer.com/
Blog Facebook Twitter @KendraSpanjer
Check out Aldo Zelnick’s Website: http://www.aldozelnick.com/
YouTube Facebook Twitter @AldoZelnick
Find more Aldo Zelnick books at the Bailiwick Press website: http://www.bailiwickpress.com/
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Kerfuffle by Karla Oceanak & Kendra Spanjer, and received from Bailiwick Press), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
KERFUFFLE: AN ALDO ZELNICK COMIC NOVEL (#11). Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kendra Spanjer. Used by permission of Bailiwick Press.