Reviews for This Gum for Hire : From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 October 2002
Gr. 3-5. Lizard detective Chet Gecko is back in his seventh pun-filled, elementary-school version of the hard-boiled mystery. This time it is nemesis Herman the Gila Monster who needs help. Key members of the school football team have been disappearing, so Chet and bird sidekick, Natalie Attired, enter the world of school sports and uncover an unexpected star player as well as a conspiracy to sabotage the team. It's all over-the-top when it comes to plot and humor, but youngsters who like their mysteries silly will giggle and groan their way through the painful plays on words. Recommend this to kids who enjoyed James Howe's Bunnicula novels. ((Reviewed October 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
After three football players go AWOL, Chet Gecko dons a uniform and goes undercover to try to find the team's missing members before Friday's big game. Chet is at his sassy, wise-cracking best--even when thrown ""deeper into the sports world than a dung beetle in elephant poop."" The book's black-and-white illustrations play up the lizard detective's puny physique to humorous effect. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 August #2
Fourth-grade gumshoe Chet Gecko checks in for his sixth pun-ishing caper. It seems that Hugh Geste and several other members of Emerson Hickey Elementary's football team have disappeared, just as a big game with Petsadena is coming up. Hired by hulking nemesis Herman the Gila Monster to track them down, geeky Chet lays aside his philosophy of athletics--"No pain, no pain"--to join the team undercover. Naturally, he finds a host of suspects, from surly water boy Buford the skunk to coach "Beef" Stroganoff's ex-squeeze, school nurse Marge Supial. Ably assisted by joke-loving avian sidekick Natalie Attired ("What's made of plastic and hangs around French cathedrals? The lunchpack of Notre Dame"), Chet's investigation culminates in a suitably daffy dénouement: as it turns out, Buford's mother, with the help of several Petsadena football moms and bribable assistant coach Jim Schortz, has been keeping the kidnapped players under wraps (literally, as football dummies) in an effort to get her son onto the team. From title to tailpiece--a view of Chet as the charging figure atop the "Weisenheimer Trophy"--this eye-rolling escapade will give the redoubtable reptile's growing legion of fans yet more reason to cheer and chortle. (Fiction. 8-11) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 September
Gr 3-6-The wisecracking fourth grader solves his sixth case. As always, Chet is aided by his mockingbird friend as they attempt to discover why the football players are disappearing just before the big game. Herman, a bulky Gila monster, asks for his help, offering both cake and restraint from bodily harm as payment. Chet and Natalie are forced to go undercover as football player and cheerleader to find the connection between a mysterious stomach ailment, bubble gum, and the water boy who didn't make the team. As in the previous books, Chet's sarcastic wit makes the story a great choice for reluctant older readers who are fans of Jon Scieszka's "Time Warp Trio" series (Viking). The humor makes this a jollier read than E. A. Hass's "Incognito Mosquito" series (Random; o.p.). Younger audiences might miss sophisticated lines such as "You can't play dumber- without a lobotomy." However, anyone will laugh at the slapstick situations. Kids will also appreciate Chet's constant desire for foods such as "greasy horsefly burritos" or "Lice Krispie treats." Black-and-white line drawings appear every few pages, depicting funny animal characters with exaggerated human characteristics.-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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