Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Squampkin Patch

THE SQUAMPKIN PATCH: A Nasselrogt Adventure
by JT Petty

Illustrated by David Michael Friend
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Ages 9-14.
ISBN: 1-4169-0274-0

When Milton and Chloe are slightly orphaned by a tragic tanning bed accident, they end up in Urchin House Orphanage where they must eat brown goo and make zippers. Like all good literary orphans, they run away. They take refuge in a house abandoned by a missing confectioner whose obsession to create the perfect Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip cookie led him to grow a dangerous squash-pumpkin hybrid. The squampkin. Following clues in the baker's journal, the kids unravel the details of his frightening disappearance and begin to understand the growing danger around them. The orange, walking, clawing, hissing danger of the SQUAMPKINS!!!!!

Petty brings together a cast of odd figures, a generous sprinkling of smart puns and clever wordplay, and a delightfully absurd plot to create a book that is serious about being funny, but never takes itself too seriously. Best of all, The Squampkin Patch is funny and suspenseful (even a bit grim near the end). And you thought only zucchini could be scary! Best suited for readers 9 and up.

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