Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bugging the Bears: Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears by Suzy Kline

Horrible Harry Spooger, a kid who knows no minor passions, is on an entomology kick, and among his classmates, only his friend and lady love Song Lee shares his inexplicable enthusiasm for an embalmed earwig named Edward.

With his characteristic energy, Harry figures out a way to combine his entomological fervor with his group's project to create a skit based on a famous fairy tale. Harry offers to script a version of The Three Bears which he calls "Goldilocks and the Three Bugs." Plying his teammates with his grandma's famous dirt puddings (complete with gummy worms), Harry reassures the anxious Sid that earwigs will not crawl into his ears and raise their young in his brain and persuades the whole group to stage a full funeral for Edward the Earwig.

The performance of Harry's fractured fairy tale goes off famously, with the heroic earwig frightening the home-invading Goldilocks away while the three bears--and the rest of Miss Mackle's class--enjoy the show.

After everyone clapped again, Miss Mackle stood up. "Your fractured fairy tale was so much fun! What a surprise ending! Do you think your play had a lesson to be learned?"

"It sure did," Harry answered. "If you break into someone's house, beware! You could be bugged!"

"Bravo!" Miss Mackle said.

Suzy Kline's latest in this venerable series, Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears (Horrible Harry), is the twenty-sixth of these evergreen little novels, comically illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, starring Horrible Harry, not including the four books featuring Harry's (girl) friend, Song Lee. With Accelerated Reader grade levels between 2.8 through 3.5 and featuring kids in second and third grade, these books are perfect for beginning chapter readers.

For readers who enjoy the school-based adventures of Horrible Harry, see also noted author Jamie Gilson's new Table Two series. For kids who love chess, her latest sequel, Chess! I Love It! I Love It! I Love It! even features an elementary school chess club as they enter their first city-wide tourney.

And don't overlook Andrew Clements' very funny early chapter books about Jake Drake, which chronicle Jake's living and learning his way through third grade.

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