Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror

When you're feeling a bit tired and want a little fun reading, few things beat a nice Daniel Pinkwater book.  I was in a Pinkwater mood and read The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror, one of my all-time favorite books ever.

Every page has a new perfect funny sentence.  All the characters are completely crazy, each in their own special ways.  There are literary jokes I didn't get until fairly recently.  I wish I could eat at the restaurants, and most especially I would like to try a borgelnuskie, but sadly borgelnuskies don't seem to be real.  (You never know--quite often the things that sound made up in a Pinkwater book do turn out to be real.  In 1989 when I was 16 I was taken on a daytrip into Czechoslovakia, and was stunned to discover that Wartburg cars are real.)

Here is a bit.  This is Osgood Sigerson, the world's greatest detective, in discussion with the Honorable Lama Lumpo Smythe-Finkel:
"By Jove!  You're right, Lama!" the great detective shouts.  "How could I have been so blind!  It is not the Napoleon of Crime, meaning the pastry of crime--it is the Napoleon of Crime, meaning the world's nastiest and most brilliant criminal!  Wallace Nussbaum!"

Everyone should read at least a couple of Pinkwater books, ideally starting in childhood.  I'm pretty sure you can't have a well-adjusted adolescence without 'em.  If you have a kid who is about 10, start with Lizard Music.  If the kid is 12 or so, try Alan Mendelsohn, Boy From Mars.  If you want to read about the Snarkout Boys (they are Walter Galt and Winston Bongo, plus their good friend Rat, and let's not forget her uncle, Flipping Hades Terwilliger), you should start with The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, but it's not strictly necessary.  Any of these would also be a great read-aloud.

Pinkwater has written neat books for younger kids too, so don't ignore those.


Amy said...

I wonder if I can hook my 11-year-old on these. And I've also recommended After the Armistice (from below) to my daughter. Thanks for these reviews.

Jean said...

Thanks Amy! If your 11yo likes silliness then these will be hard to beat. Tell me the results. :)

Faith said...

I think my kids might enjoy these. Thanks!