Saturday, July 21, 2012

Penelope Crumb-Shawn K. Stout

Penelope Crumb

Shawn K. Stout

Philomel, Aug 2 2012,

ISBN: 9780399257285

In art class, fourth-grader Penelope learns the worst news she ever head as she finds out that she has a humongous shnoz. Upset when she goes home she talks with her medical illustrator mom, who informs her she has been cursed by the “Crumb nose” of “Graveyard Dead” dad and her still breathing (albeit using up a lot of oxygen) paternal Grandpa Felix, who Penelope thought was with her father. Also Penelope is confused as to how she failed to recognize her snout as even her older brother Terrence the Terrible noticed the family icon.

Curious about her paternal grandfather who disappeared when her dad became ill, Penelope wants to compare noses with him. A school assignment on family trees is the final impetus for Penelope to locate Grandpa Felix.

With a nod to famous noses like that of Jimmy Durante and the Ricci character in the film Penelope, this fabulous upper elementary school amateur sleuth investigative thriller is a fun tale as Shawn K. Stout treats his youthful audience with respect never dumbing down the drama. The heroine is a wonderful individual who still grieves her dad’s death and is an expert on reading nonverbal cues especially from adults ready to pounce. Valeria Docampo enhances the engaging storyline with b&w images of Penelope and her protuberance as fans will root for the spunky protagonist who noses her way to solving the case and somewhat her grief.

Harriet Klausner

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