The Crazy Critter Race
Review: Ace and Bub, the flying beaver brothers, enter a race to win a new houseboat, only to discover that there is something mysterious about the race sponsor, in The Crazy Critter Race, the sixth in this series of graphic novels for kids by Maxwell Eaton III.
Many of the nearby Shark Tooth Islands have been stripped of their trees (by baboons — don't ask!) and Critter Houseboat Sales and Service is sponsoring a race to replant the trees, with the winner receiving a free houseboat from owner Crazy Critter. All the entrants have to do is take a jar of seeds and plant them on the islands. "The winners will be the first team to climb all the islands, plant their seeds, and ring the crazy bell back here at the finish," he tells the assembled crowd. Ace has a question: "I still don't know how you'll know which team has planted each —" but is cut off by the ringing of the crazy bell to start the race. Ace and Bub gamely take their jar and swim to the first island, only to see their first planted seed immediately sprout into a giant vine! And the same thing happens with the other racers. Soon vines are covering and trapping everything in their path, including Ace and Bub!
The Crazy Critter Race is an entertaining book with plenty of action and lots of humor, and will no doubt delight its intended audience of 6- to 9-year-olds. The books in this series have been characterized as being eco-centric, with an environment-friendly message being a common theme. As such, it seems the author is trying to equate capitalism with the destruction of the planet in this story. If so, that's more than little overreaching, and well beyond the scope of understanding of elementary school readers. It might have been a more positive learning experience for kids to suggest that businesses can actually have a positive effect upon and improve the environment in myriad ways rather than take a negative approach and suggest they simply exploit it to make money.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of The Crazy Critter Race for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Fishy Business
Alfred A. Knopf (Trade Paperback), January 2012
ISBN-13: 9780375864483; ISBN-10: 0375864482
Location(s) referenced in The Crazy Critter Race:
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The Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton III — The Flying Beaver Brothers
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2015
List Price: $6.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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