Booklist (May 15, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 18))
Grades 4-7. Angleberger (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, 2010) clearly knows a thing or two about how middle-grade kids, boys especially, can have an almost bottomless fixation on novelty items. Like, oh, a fake mustache. After Lenny’s best pal, Casper, buys the Heidelberg Handlebar #7 (rumored to have been made from the actual mustache of a legendary European assassin), things get weird quick. A string of robberies, orchestrated by a very short man with a very prominent mustache, leads to the suspiciously named billionaire Fako Mustacho’s bid for the presidency. Lenny knows that Casper and his ’stache are the culprits, and he enlists the help of a yodeling teen TV star to bring him down. It’s kind of a weird strategy to build an entire plot around a few novelty items (various models of sticky-stretchy hands play a big role, too) but Angleberger’s foot-on-the-floor zaniness helps pull it off, fueled by a steady stream of gags and utter ridiculousness that make Saturday-morning cartoons seem reasonable in comparison. Pure, unfiltered hilarity. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Origami Yoda and its follow-up, Darth Paper Strikes Back (2011), became kid cult faves, and fans will gobble this up with equal relish.