Slipping Dave Barry–style ruminations between each chapter, the pseudonymous Dr. Soup, world-famous "Advisor to the Ill-Advised," strands the motley time-traveling cast assembled in A Whole Nother Story (2010)—including brilliant scientist Ethan Cheeseman, his three children (repeatedly described as "smart, polite, attractive, and relatively odor-free"), a psychic dog, a sock puppet and a crew of cursed but friendly pirates—in 1668 New England. Many misadventures and an Atlantic crossing later, after narrow escapes from witch hunters, a pirate of the unfriendly sort and other hazards, they proceed to Denmark to lay the aforementioned curse to rest (and run afoul of the local Duke's evil step-twin in the process), after which the Cheesemans climb aboard a fresh time machine obligingly provided by the previous episode's vengeful but woefully hapless villain Mr. 5 for the next stage in their quest to rescue their murdered mother. Fans of baroque misadventures, bumbling villains, heroic rescues, cliffhangers and especially sarcastic repartee—not to mention intrusive narrators—will be charmed anew. (Fantasy of the absurd. 11-13)
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Gr 4-7--In this rip-roaring follow-up to A Whole Nother Story (Bloomsbury, 2010), Ethan Cheeseman, his three children, a sock puppet, and a dog named Pinky head back in time to 1668. Their goal? To break a centuries-old family curse by returning the White Gold Chalice to its owner, and to save the children's mother from a violent end. Unfortunately, landing in 1668 damages their egg-shaped time machine, and the family members must go in search of a blacksmith to find materials for its repair. Meeting a lively, but mostly underdeveloped cast of characters along the way, including Big, a Pocahontas look-alike, and the Mailman (so named because his many piercings resemble chain mail), the Cheesemans and company wreak havoc wherever they go. To complicate matters, Olivia's murderer, Mr. 5, is right on their tails. The story is narrated by the self-described "incomparable" Dr. Cuthbert Soup and punctuated by his mini-chapters, which usually have only loose connections to the story, but are hilarious on their own. It's over-the-top with a sometimes annoyingly frantic pace. However, the laugh-out-loud moments are many, and the puns are clever and sarcastic. This book should appeal to fans of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins), Pseudonymous Bosch's The Name of This Book Is Secret (Little, Brown, 2007), and other stories that capitalize on the absurd.--Mandy Lawrence, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX[Page 171]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.