My second STARRED REVIEW for The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis!!
From School Library Journal:
*O’CONNOR, Barbara. The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. 160p. CIP. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. Sept. 2009. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-37055-8. LC 2008024145.
Gr 3-6–Popeye thinks life is boring in Fayette, SC, where his grandmother keeps her mind sharp by reciting the kings and queens of England in chronological order and gives her grandson vocabulary words each week to keep his mind exercised. Life changes when a boy named Elvis and his nomadic, quirky family get their Holiday Rambler motor home stuck in red mud near Popeye’s house. They meet and Elvis quickly names Popeye the senior vice president of the Spit and Swear Club. Popeye is impressed and longs for Elvis’s interesting life. He, too, would like a paper plate with his name written on it in crayon and a mother who asks his opinion for rhyming words while writing her newest country-western tune. Elvis suggests they go on an adventure, which begins when they spot boats made from Yoo-hoo chocolate drink boxes floating down the creek carrying mysterious notes and they set off to track down the boat maker and the meaning of the notes.
Like Eben in Betty G. Birney’s The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs (S & S, 2005), Elvis and Popeye’s journey reminds readers to look for and enjoy the small treasures in their lives. Save a spot on your shelves for this small adventure with a grand heart.
–Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego
I'm sure I'm not alone when I report that I spend a lot of time by my kitchen sink.
So anything to brighten the atmosphere is a bonus.
I love this little flower bottle/vase. I've had it for years and it's so perfect for a quick spruce-up.
The day after I wrote this post, I was standing at the sink and that little cupboard fell off the wall! It crashed into the sink, breaking the faucet and sending a giant fountain of water clear across the kitchen and into the dining room!
I'm tellin' ya....I'm having the worst luck this summer. If you don't want something bad to happen to you, you better stay away from me. Seriously. (By the way, that is a new faucet. Sheesh.)
A starred review from Kirkus for The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis:
Popeye’s life lacks excitement, living as he does down a gravel road bordering the woods in rural South Carolina with his dog Boo and his Grandmother Velma, who preserves her sanity by incessantly reciting the kings and queens of England. So when a silver motor home packed with the six wild children of the Jewell family gets stuck and stranded in the mud, he couldn’t be happier. During the brief, magical time the motor home remains, he and Elvis, the eldest Jewell, discover in the creek boats fashioned from Yoo-hoo packages, each with an intriguing message. The mystery of their source demands resolution, although it means occasionally disobeying Velma’s edicts. Seeking the source of the boats, their adventures are, as the title indicates, mild, but they perfectly capture the thrills that fill long summer days.
Although O’Connor only briefly describes the characters, each one comes instantly and distinctly to life. Fast-paced, short and easy to read, but spiced up with the challenging vocabulary words that Velma teaches and Popeye adores and abounding with quirky, likable characters, this small gem has the power to keep readers entranced.