CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 2 . . . . September 14, 2007
When Principal Moody plans a costume parade as a tactic to raise awareness of reduced speed zones surrounding the school, Harper brags that his "costume is going to be out of this world," Martin can't take it anymore, and so he decides to create a costume that is even more spectacular than Harper's. But Harper's costume turns out to be even more flashy and spectacular than Martin expected, and Martin is fuming. Will he be able to put aside his dislike for his classmate when Harper gets into trouble, or will he let the bragger get what he deserves?
In the second adventure of this two chapter book, Martin reveals to his classmates that he wants to be an astronaut. With friends Stuart and Alex, he spends hours acting out the scenes in Spyder Mappleson's series of comic books featuring Zip Rideout. As it turns out, most of his fellow classmates want to be astronauts, "with a few firefighters, police officers, hockey players, paleontologists and ballerinas sprinkled in." When their teacher, Mrs. Crammond, announces that Spyder will be visiting the class, Martin becomes obsessed about meeting the illustrator. But when Martin discovers first-hand that astronauts - or at least would-be astronauts acting out his hero's stories - can get hurt, he wonders if he has made the right career choice.
New chapter book readers will identify with the characters in the Martin Bridge series and will want to read them all. Joseph Kelly's frequent black & white, cartoonish illustrations supplement the text admirably and are especially adept at showing the emotions of the characters. They add a "graphic novel" dimension to the storyline that will further captivate the young reader who is making the transition from picture books to easy chapter books. All five tomes in the series are well worth the read.
A former youth librarian, Carole Marion is the CS Manager of Calgary Public Library's Forest Lawn Branch. She has been working with children and caregivers for over 20 years.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.