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*Otto Undercover #4: Toxic Taffy Takeover* by Rhea Perlman, illustrated by Dan Santat- young readers book review

Also illustrated by Dan Santat:


The Secret Life of Walter Kitty
Otto Undercover #4: Toxic Taffy Takeover
by Rhea Perlman, illustrated by Dan Santat
Ages 9-12 128 pages HarperTrophy September 2006 Paperback    

Otto is a secret agent working for Eee Yiii Eee (EYE). He has a racecar, the aunts, gadgets, and just plain spunk to help him solve the case of the toxic taffy. Distributed on the paradise island called Coney, a snot-dripping varlet cruelly mixes an awful chemical into the yummy goodness of taffy. All who ingest the doctored treat become zombies, giving away all their worldly goods with a smile. Otto is put on the case and the villain without a nose taken to task for her cruel misdeeds.

Triumph does not come easily, of course. There is danger, intrigue, and an aunt who falls under the spell of the evil taffy. Ontooneth, the noseless, is a grumpy, cagey bad guy/woman villain who will leave no racecar unmolested in her quest to have as much stuff as possible.

I read this book with a young friend; both of us came to the same conclusion – WAY cool and more fun than sixteen juggling butt monkeys. Readers must take serious note of the warning posted in chapter minus ½: “There are loony things in this book that have been known to cause irreversible damage to young mind. The management cannot be responsible for any readers who fail to read the warning and spend the rest of their lives running around their room like a deranged chicken.” This book is meant to be read aloud - often - and with as many children as possible.

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  Pamela Crossland/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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