Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Day the Mustache Took Over by Alan Katz

The Day the Mustache Took OverThe Day the Mustache Took Over by Alan Katz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by Netgalley

This book could probably best be described an absurd mix of Amelia Bedelia, The Cat in the Hat, and Mary Poppins. This is the story of badly behaved twin boys with parents that seemingly have no time to raise their children themselves. Therefore, the children are essentially raised by nannies that quit with such regularity that the boys have been through hundreds of them already. Then, a nanny shows up that changes everything, though this nanny is no Mary Poppins regardless of how similar their entrances.

After those early comparisons to Mary Poppins, the book swiftly shifts tones to something more akin to the Cat in the Hat, with the nanny, Martin, taking the role of the terribly behaved Cat while the twins clean up after him like Sally and her brother. The similarities to Amelia Bedelia come into play when Martin is left to his own devices while the children attend school.

All in all, this book is just an absurd romp through one bit of craziness after another. Martin, the nanny, has as much need for growth as the twins it turns out and they all do evolve into more responsible, caring versions of their earlier selves, but character growth isn't the central focus here. This is about the laughs and it does that fairly well. This is something that would probably appeal to reluctant middle-grade readers. It's illustrated, though not on every page, and the text is not overwhelmingly complex.

It ends fairly well, but mostly it seems to be a set-up for the next book in this series. This series will be a welcome addition to the humor fiction category, well-written though strongly reminiscent of stories that came before it. Well done.

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