Danvers Blickensderfer really loves Gonzo. He has a Gonzo t-shirt for 6 days of the week! Seriously you can’t honor Gonzo every day. Danvers is a typical 6th grader trying to produce Gonzo style stunts for the pleasure of his friends and class-mates and trying to survive the torture of sharing a room with his evil toddler sister Chloe. Everything changes for Danvers when in the middle of the night he is transformed from a regular kid into a Muppet. Danvers balances trying to reverse his condition (under the careful medical eye of Doctor Bob and other favorite Muppets) and balancing the fame that an internship as Gonzo’s assistant with the Muppets and his transformation (seriously he is a Muppet) brings him. Will Danvers be normal again? Will his friend and safety coordinator Pasquale be lost in Danvers’ sudden fame? Will Danvers and his Muppet boy band Mon Swoon outplay the boy band Emo Shun lead by Danvers’s former best friend! The 6th grade is tough!
Kirk Scroggs authors and illustrates this story in Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet. Scroggs alternates telling the story between narrative text and cartoons that blend together into one story. The images are humorous and light. And the text is easy to read, I read the entire book in a little more than an hour, two train rides and a little lunch time! It took the Between Tween a few days of off and on reading. The story itself reminds me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid as represented in the movie with the text itself being what I imagine reading the book would feel like, the Between Tween says there are more pictures in that series. I found the story to be safe and did not cause me much excitement. It was amusing but probably not anything I would ever seek out. I did enjoy seeing and reading the Muppets in book form. And as a Disney fan I chuckled at references to Mary Poppins and Buzz Lightyear. But I am pretty sure for the author and publisher that adults who enjoy the book are bonus fans and not the target audience they are trying to capture.
I am not fully qualified, by age, to provide a fair review to this book. So I went to the Between Tween for the official Between Disney take! The Disney Tween states that the book is really really funny. The Tween’s favorite character was Pepe (who throughout the book has to fight the impression he is a shrimp). The Tween has seen a lot of Muppet movies in the past but thought Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet as a wow. The Tween thought the pictures were really detailed with the favorite picture sequence being the toothpaste commercial. The Tween thought the message of the book was to stick with your friends no matter what, which does not sound like a bad message to me. The Between Tween would reread the book. Overall the Tween, the real target audience, gives Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet a thumbs up and would recommend it.
Adults, Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet may not be for you. It may provide you some amusement but it’s likely not the sort of book a more mature audience will enjoy. But, if you have a seven to twelve year old in your life this book would likely make a great gift! Seriously, didn’t most of us dream of being a Muppet as a kid, and this book will just help feed that desire in your kids.