Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun New Series by Van Draanen!

The Gecko and Sticky: Villain's Lair
by Wendelin Van Draanen (2009)

Shredderman made me pick up this volume; it's first book in Wendelin Van Draanen's new series about a talking gecko named Sticky ( he's got sticky fingers, as in, he likes to steal things...) because, yeah, fiction featuring talking animals doesn't usually appeal to me. At all. I made an exception because I love Shredderman and all of Van Draanen's other titles--like the Sammy Keyes mysteries, Flipped, and Runaway--and I'm so glad I did because this series is great. Elementary-aged kids will love the fast-pace, silly rhymes, and goofy situations that our hapless hero, thirteen-year-old Dave Sanchez, finds himself in as he first befriends and then helps Sticky retrieve some powerful gold coins from the evil villain, Damien Black. This would make a great readaloud for the elementary set--grades 2 through 4 or 5 most likely.

The Gecko and Sticky: The Greatest Power, the second book in the series, extends the fun as Damien Black continues to menace our heroes. This time Damien Black, while still seeking to get the powerful coins away from Dave, robs a bank. Dave happens to be present, sees what happens, and decides to get the money back for the bank, which happens to employ him. Kids will enjoy reading as Dave and Sticky develop a partnership and Dave shows the value of friendship.

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