Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters
Author: Lenore Look
Illustrator: LeUyen Pham

In Lenore Look's earlier book, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, she introduced second-grader, Alvin Ho. Scared of practically everything, but with an indomitable spirit that allows him to face his fears, Alvin takes on a whole new set of scary adventures when his father takes him camping.

As in the first book, Alvin can be a bit over-the-top, but young readers will laugh and relate to his wild overreactions. Each chapter brings a new set of mishaps, from buying night vision goggles with the emergency credit card to setting traps around his campsite. Alvin's father almost uses up his store of Shakespearean oaths as he tries to keep Alvin and his little sister, Anibelly, from ruining the camping trip. In the nick of time, Alvin meets a friend who proves that Alvin isn't the only one scared of the woods.

This book is well paced and appropriate for grades 2-4. I like the way Alvin's Chinese-American heritage is part of him, but not a focus of the story. He is just another kid, facing the sometimes-scary world with a never-ending set of good ideas that don't turn out quite the way he expects.

I strongly recommend this, as well as the earlier Alvin Ho story.

Four out of five stars.

See more about Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters on Amazon.com
See more about Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters on Amazon.co.uk

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