Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cold Cereal

Horn Book (January/February, 2012)

In the town of Goodborough, home to the Goodco cereal company, new kid Scott Doe is seeing things. Specifically, a rabbit-headed man, a unicat, and a leprechaun named Mick. His only friends, brainy twins Erno and Emily Utz, are working on the latest puzzle their guardian has set them when a creepy Goodco "doctor" reveals they're subjects in a Goodco experiment. In a zany adventure filled with Arthurian references and sly parodies of popular breakfast cereals, Scott, Erno, and Emily set out to find the connection between the megalomaniac cereal company and magical beings enslaved for their "glamour," all the while keeping one step ahead of the Goodco goons who want to dissect Emily to analyze the results of their experiment. An expansive cast of colorful characters (including Merle Lynn, an accountant) keep the surprises coming. Cartoon illustrations of dramatic moments and drawn panels accompanying TV commercial scripts supplement the text. Rex takes his time mounting his preposterous edifice of a plot, but reader interest and suspension of disbelief never flag in this humorous, consistently entertaining, well-spun yarn. anita l. burkam

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