Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2014. 978-1449435493
Synopsis: This is it. This is the day. The day Desmond Pucket goes to Crab Shell Pier and rides the Mountain Full of Monsters ride…with the love of his life and dream girl Tina Schimsky. He supposed to spend the day with Mr. Needles, who is a total buzz kill when it comes to having fun. Good thing Desmond has a plan to ditch Mr. Needles so he can get to the ride with Tina. But there’s a sign; a sign that says the ride is going to be closed at the end of the summer. The greatest ride in the history of EVER is going to be closed…and now Desmond needs another plan to save it.
Why I picked it up: I had the opportunity to meet the author at a library conference this last summer and I was a huge fan of the pseudo graphic novel format.
Why I finished it: This book as a lot of appeal for a number of different readers. It’s got action. It’s got some adventures. It’s got some monsters and people getting scared – and let’s face it, that’s probably the coolest part. I mean, how would we feel if we knew our favorite ride was closing? What wouldn’t we do to raise some money to save it so that it can keep being enjoyed for years and years and years and years? Desmond is a clever hero that uses his skills creating scares and pulling pranks with his friends in order to stay ahead of the school disciplinarian and start a fundraising drive to (hopefully) keep Crab Shell Pier from closing Mountain Full of Monsters. His plans might not always work out the way he would like, but we keep cheering for him and his hilarious mishaps that happen along the way. I love that this is a chapter book with pictures because it helps with the transition from picture books to chapter books. It gives the reader a visual of all the hijinks and mayhem that Desmond and his friends get themselves into. Plus, it helps with reading comprehension; we understand the story a little better when we have some illustrations to go with it. Tatulli’s art style is unique in every way helping to add the humor and the ‘horror’ to Desmond’s story. The brief snippets of color help to attract our attention to certain portions of a scene and make us focus on little things that we might have missed if the book were merely text. It’s a laugh-out-loud story that has us plotting our own pranks and remembering our own youthful adventures.
Other related materials: Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli; Lio’s Astonishing Tales: From the Haunted Crypt of Unknown Horrors by Mark Tatulli; The Odd Squad books by Michael Fry; My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish books by Mo O’Hara, illustrated by Marek Jagucki; Frank Einstein books by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Brian Biggs; Diary of a Sixth-Grade Ninja books by Marcus Emerson; Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney; Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce; Knights of the Lunch Table books by Frank Cammuso; Timmy Failure books by Stephen Pastis