Calvin Coconut's fourth grade class meets Benni Obi, a weird and likable new kid. Benny brags about knowing kung fu, wears mirrored sunglasses, eats worms, crickets, and chocolate-covered scorpions, and says all the wrong things to bully Tito. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, the neighborhood kids and pets clear the road--Calvin's babysitter Stella is learning how to drive. She's got a lead foot.
Readers will enjoy the humor in "Kung Fooey" as Calvin's smarts and courage help him learn something new about standing up for friends, and facing a bully.
GRAHAM SALISBURY is the author of five Calvin Coconut books: "Trouble Magnet, The Zippy Fix, Dog Heaven, Zoo Breath, " and "Hero of Hawaii, " as well as several novels for older readers, including the award-winning "Lord of the Deep, Blue Skin of the Sea, Under the Blood-Red Sun, Eyes of the Emperor, House of the Red Fish, " and "Night of the Howling Dogs." Graham Salisbury grew up in Hawaii. Calvin Coconut and his friends attend the same school Graham did Kailua Elementary School."
Gr 3-5-In this installment, a new classmate, Benny Obi, eats dried bug snacks and claims to know kung fu. While Calvin tries to figure out what to make of him, he's challenged by the school bully, Tito, and has a prickly relationship with live-in babysitter Stella. Supported by his friends and reassuring adults, Calvin finds satisfying solutions to his problems, even if they do not always come in time to save the day. The Hawaiian island setting is a subtle but appealing presence, bringing uniqueness and diversity to the narrative. Salisbury offers gentle wisdom and understanding, helping Calvin-and readers-realize the importance of respect, tolerance, and standing up for oneself and one's friends. Expressive black-and-white illustrations add humor and are generously sprinkled throughout. The straightforward writing style, distinct characters, and now-requisite "Hawaii" and "Calvin" facts are sure to please readers. This is another strong entry in a winning series that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone read.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.