Reviews for Cold Cereal
Booklist Reviews 2012 February #1
On his first day of school, Scott Doe accompanies his new sixth-grade class on a field trip to the Goodco Cereal Factory--here, he encounters a leprechaun whom nobody else can see. Meanwhile, in a parallel story, twin orphans Erno and Emily Utz undertake their latest game, which is foisted upon them by their foster father, and which is supposed to test their intelligence. Eventually the stories converge, bringing together magical experiments, chase scenes, Merle Lynn and a colorful variety of fay, from a pink dragon to a Bigfoot nanny. The children unite and, with the help of friends fairy and real, attempt to thwart the cereal company's dastardly plans. Rex supports his centrifugal imagination with tight storytelling, effervescent characterization, and strong imagery and metaphor (plus black-and-white illustrations). The result is a story that's simultaneously dense and frothy, like chocolate perforated with bubbles. And while his imagined world is fully realized, he's careful not to explain too much, building a sense of mystery that will leave eager readers anxious for the sequel. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In a zany adventure filled with Arthurian references and sly parodies, new kid Scott and twins Erno and Emily set out to find the connection between their town's megalomaniac cereal company and magical enslaved beings. Reader interest and suspension of disbelief never flag in this humorous, consistently entertaining, well-spun yarn, supplemented by cartoon illustrations and drawn panels accompanying TV commercial scripts.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #1
In the town of Goodborough, home to the Goodco cereal company, new kid Scott Doe is seeing things. Specifically, a rabbit-headed man, a unicat, and a leprechaun named Mick. His only friends, brainy twins Erno and Emily Utz, are working on the latest puzzle their guardian has set them when a creepy Goodco "doctor" reveals they're subjects in a Goodco experiment. In a zany adventure filled with Arthurian references and sly parodies of popular breakfast cereals, Scott, Erno, and Emily set out to find the connection between the megalomaniac cereal company and magical beings enslaved for their "glamour," all the while keeping one step ahead of the Goodco goons who want to dissect Emily to analyze the results of their experiment. An expansive cast of colorful characters (including Merle Lynn, an accountant) keep the surprises coming. Cartoon illustrations of dramatic moments and drawn panels accompanying TV commercial scripts supplement the text. Rex takes his time mounting his preposterous edifice of a plot, but reader interest and suspension of disbelief never flag in this humorous, consistently entertaining, well-spun yarn. anita l. burkam
Kirkus Reviews 2011 November #2
A motley assortment of human experimental subjects and faerie exiles take on a New Jersey cereal company run by eldritch management for nefarious purposes. With an off-the-wall sensibility that fans of the author's True Meaning of Smekday (2007) will recognize with delight, Rex kicks off a planned trilogy. He brings together sixth-grade outsider Scottish Play Doe (an actor's son, surprise), young genius Erno Utz and his even brighter supposed twin Emily, a crusty old leprechaun and like unconventional allies to be hunted by agents of the huge Goodco Cereal Company--producers of Burlap Crispâ„¢, Honey Frosted Snoxâ„¢. These and similar products enjoy a wild popularity that can be ascribed to the literal truth of the company motto: "There's a Little Bit of Magic in Every Box!" The author tucks in portrait illustrations and hilariously odd TV-commercial storyboards, along with a hooded Secret Society, figures from Arthurian legend, magical spells and potions, a certain amount of violence, many wonderful throwaway lines ("Yeh may have a tarnished glamour about yeh, sure. Like a celebrity's daughter.") and tests of character with often surprising outcomes. All in all, it's a mad scramble that culminates in the revelation of a dastardly plot that will require sequels to foil. A massive explosion at the end only sets that evil scheme back a bit; stay tuned for further strange and exhilarating developments. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 December #2
Mythology and magic collide with breakfast cereal in this dry-humored adventure from Rex (Fat Vampire), first in a planned trilogy. When sixth-grader Scottish Play Doe--who understandably prefers to be called Scott--moves to the small town of Goodborough, N.J., a community dominated by the Goodco Cereal Company, he starts seeing imaginary creatures. One of them, a world-weary "clurichaun" (akin to a leprechaun) named Mick, claims sanctuary with him, explaining that he's trying to escape Goodco, which stole his magic. Teaming up with his new friends--superintelligent Emily and practical Erno--Scott investigates the mystery that is Goodco, soon learning the awful and bizarre truth behind the company's origins and success. With talking rabbit-men, Bigfoot, riddles, and clever riffs on cereal company advertising, it all makes for an intriguing if convoluted tale. Rex takes his magically delicious premise seriously, though, finding the thin line between absurdity and comedy, while giving this story more gravitas and depth than might be expected. The inherent oddities are further played up in Rex's frequent illustrations, not all seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Agent: Writers House. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February
Gr 4-8--When Scott sees a guy with a rabbit's head on the way to school, he figures it's just another one of the odd hallucinations he occasionally experiences. It turns out that it's the first of many bizarre events that include a snarky leprechaun, a Bigfoot butler, and a plot to take over the world with breakfast cereal, among other oddities. The story is filled with wildly imaginative elements and clever wisecracks, but the humor is couched within a rich, complex plot that's filled with engaging characters and concepts. The narrative shifts easily between the present-day perils of Scott and his companions and the hefty backstory about the cereal company and the world of magical Fay creatures. The full scope of the multilayered plot unfolds with small and large surprises, incorporating alternate worlds, time travel, and Arthurian legend, along with the cereal cartoons and other silliness. There's humor peppered throughout, even in the action scenes, as when the leprechaun gripes about the 20 quid that Kris Kringle owes him in the midst of a daring rescue. This first book in a trilogy ends with a satisfying triumph for Scott and friends, but plenty of dangers lie ahead if they hope to save both the Fay world and their own. Readers who enjoy fantasies that are equal parts hilarious and exciting will eagerly await the next two in the series.--Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR [Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.