Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Best Badge! Bug Blonsky and His Swamp Scout Survival Guide by E. S. Redmond


Abner Vanderpelt has six merit patches on his Swamp Scout vest. I have only three. OK, two--the yellow one is just a mustard stain.

Bug Blonsky has little hope of winning a bunch of merit badges at the weekend campout at Camp Win-Kee-Noo. For one thing, Abner Vanderpelt's mom is the Marsh Mother for the trip. Not only does her perfume attract mosquitoes (to Bug, mostly), but she is prejudiced in favor of scouts whose skills tend toward listening and following directions.

Bug's abilities, such as armpit farting and being a true Bigfoot Believer, seem unlikely badge producers. It doesn't help that Bug's mom packed his stuff in big sister Winnie's Sweet Dreams sleeping bag with the glitter-sprinkled pink cupcake on it. She also fails to pack toilet paper, of which there is a dire lack in the Camp Win Kee Noo, and the outhouse is already stinky enough to repell Bigfoot. Mom does, however, redeem herself by packing emergency supplies--Swamper Doodle chocolate cookies.

Since Bug has made paper airplanes out of his Swamp Camp Survival Guide, he has to wing it by composing his own camp manual, beginning with Rule #1...

Go to the bathroom BEFORE the bus ride.

It's a memorable day for Bug, his buddy, Louie, and the tenderfoot campers, with bug spray overkill, rubbery hot dogs, poison ivy, and a canoeing adventure in which Louie and Bug both lose their paddles and have to be rescued by the Buttercup Brigade girl scouts from across the lake, loudly chanting ...


At lights-out time Bugs and his best friend Louie decide to break out his cookies for a midnight snack for two, which tattletale Abner spies and says....

"You shouldn't eat sweets before bed, especially if you've already brushed your teeth!"

To which Bug replies...

"... Not a problem. We have no intention of brushing teeth or going to bed."

Bug and Louie have a daring plan: they use some of the cookies to set up an irresistible hairy monster trap and plan to pull an all-nighter waiting to capture Bigfoot. Just as they are about to fall asleep on stakeout, they hear woeful sounds coming from inside their trap. Is it Bigfoot? Or is it Abner Vanderpelt caught red-handed with Swamper Doodle crumbs all over his face?

It's Bug's best-of-a-lifetime chance to get even by ratting out goody-goody Abner to his freaked-out Marsh Mother. Should he?

But all's well that ends with Abner Vanderpelt's heartfelt nomination of Bug for the Steadfast Scout Award, in E. S. Redmond's forthcoming slapstick Blonsky saga, Bug Blonsky and His Swamp Scout Survival Guide (Candlewick Press, 2021). With type-cast cartoon characters and bad boy Bug Blonsky, still a believer in the powers of Bigfoot, coming together in Redmond's second book in series, this is a beginning chapter book just right for early elementary readers who go for wacky, boy-pleasing high jinks. E. S. Redmond's opener in this series is Bug Blonsky and His Very Long List of Don'ts.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home