Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Overnighter! Naughty Mabel Sees It All by Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott

"Okay, Darlings, before I turn the page, let me preface this by saying that what you are about to see isn't entirely my fault.

Now I know this looks bad, but let a girl explain."

Mabel, that doggy diva, is back. A pampered society pet, this social-climbing French bulldog, is thrilled, darlings, to have copped an invitation for a sleepover with her posh neighbors, Smarty Cat and Scaredy Cat.

The overnighter comes as a welcome break. Mabel is becoming a bit bored with watching Martha Stewart cooking yet another couscous dish. And then she mistakes a bowl of potpourri for her doggy dish, resulting in a definite improvement in her breath, and, um, other odours, but otherwise no cure for her ennui.

So it is with great anticipation and elan that she packs "everything" for the occasion at the mansion of Smarty and Scaredy's mother, the creme de la creme of elite society and academia, the noted paleontologist, Professor Millicent Murgatroyd, Her hostess, however, serves up only old black and white movies for entertainment, not Mabel's cup of tea.

But although Mabel comes prepared to see some old bones lying about, she is not prepared for what she does see. One shadowy monster on the wall becomes two, and then the two multiply into many.

I knew it was a monster. The room was crawling with them!

I grabbed the nearest weapon (Millicent Murgatroyd's walker). She did not seem to appreciate my efforts.

Maybe if she cleaned up her house once in a while, it would not be infested with monsters.

I decided this wasn't the best time to bring that up!

Faced with a strangely rampaging guest lambasting her dinosaur skulls and fancy furniture, Professor Murgatroyd calls Mabel's parents to come for her, and Mabel goes home in disgrace. So much for her high society sleepover.

But all is forgiven when Mabel is discovered to have double vision and she is off to the octopotamus for an eye exam and new contacts, in Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott's second book about a stylish but naughty French bulldog, Naughty Mabel Sees It All (Simon and Schuster, 2016). Although Mabel's self-consciously snooty references to the passe' couscous and potpourri may be marginally funny for adult read-alouders, it will go over the heads of younger readers, and while her slapstick destruction of the neighbor's household may please younger listeners, it may all seem a bit silly to third-graders, but for those many fans of the first book, Naughty Mabel, (see review here) this tale of the diplopic Mabel may be an amusing episode in the life of this posh and pampered pooch.

As a bit of reassurance to kids who wear glasses, pair this one with Ged Adamson's quite funny, Douglas, You Need Glasses! (see review here).

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