I first fell in love with Chris Grabenstein's works when I read Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. I had just begun my "nerdy" journey (well, some may argue I've been on it for much longer than that....) and it was one of those books. A book you couldn't wait to get in the hands of kids. I knew it was a book I would be book talking and sharing when school started in the fall. Since then, I've book talked it, talked about it with readers, bought copies and replaced copies in my library. We've seen Mr. Lemoncello sequels and other books written by Chris Grabenstein published. Now, I'm excited to share with you another Chris Grabenstein series, especially since it's time for book 2!
Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Party Surf Monkey
written by Chris Grabenstein
illustrated by Brooke Allen
published by Random House
From Chris Grabenstein, the bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and coauthor with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters, comes the second hilarious, fun-in-the-sun adventure in his new illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel!
There's always something wacky happening when you live in a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world's wackiest! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey!) will be filming their next movie--Beach Party Surf Monkey--right in St. Pete's Beach, Florida, P.T. and his friend Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the perfect location. Now they just have to convince the producers!
But when things start to go wrong (crazed fans? missing stars?), it will take all of Gloria's business genius and P.T.'s wild stories to save the movie before both it and the Wonderland are all washed up!
My quick thoughts
This is another series that I read in the summer and now I can't wait to book talk it to students this fall! Wonderland is one of those series - the kind that get kids reading! What I love about this series:
- non-stop adventure
- features a fast-talking, outrageous story-spinning character that kids are going to love, and his partner - a smart, quick witted girl!
- the supporting characters are fun (especially the bologna and celery soda loving Grandpa) and the evil villain characters are always provoke the right amount of dislike
- the setting is perfect - in St. Pete, Florida in a motel that was as popular as Disney... in the year before Disney opened
- short, quick chapters and I love that the chapters have title names
- fun activities at the end of each book
- illustrated by Brooke Allen, of Lumberjanes fame
The second book in the series was hysterical to read. With a rock star who has diva-tendencies, complete with groupies and lots of temper tantrums and talent that may exist only in his eyes and who may or may not have similarities to certain rock stars today, kids are going to be laughing out loud with the escapades, or should I say tirades, this character has. The character of the famous actress will appeal to readers' hearts as she grapples with the price of fame. And then there is the youtube made famous monkey. We all know how cute those animal internet stars are! This time the evil villain is right next door. As in the hotel next door. The owner and his scheming daughter are just sure they will be able to buy the Wonderland away from the Wilkie family. But if you know anything about P.T., you know there will be an idea that is sure to spin one heck of a story and save it all!
Something that Chris Grabenstein has started doing is hiding names of some wonderful Nerdy people into his book. Imagine my surprise when I found the name of a friend:
Love that Mr. Stroh gets to make an appearance in this book!
Be sure to head over to Chris's website. There is so much to check out there - activities, chapter samples, audio, and links that go with his books. Check it out at www.chrisgrabenstein.com
Ready to visit Wonderland - well, at least through the pages of the book? Random House has generously donated a copy to one lucky reader! Open to residents of the U.S. and must be 13 years old to enter. Enter below and cross your fingers! Giveaway is open until Wednesday, June 21 at 5pmEST.
Find Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Party Surf Monkey at your bookstore and library now! As always, happy reading!