Illustrator: Mike Reed
Random House: A Stepping Stone Book
Interesting Read … Highly Recommended … 5 stars
Far below the surface of the sea, Thudd the robot, ten year old inventor Drewd, and his thirteen year old cousin Judy have an eye-popping run in with Soggy Bob Sloggins. Drewd and Judy’s top secret scientist Uncle Al just cannot stop inventing. Uncle Al’s latest invention is the Water Bug. He was supposed to be on vacation with Drewd and Judy and their parents, but even there; he cannot stop inventing things. It is the last day the family will spend in Hawaii. Drewd, Andrew Dubble, persuades Judy to come take a peek at the Water Bug. She knows better. The last time Judy listened to Drewd the pair, along with Thudd, ended up in a real mess when Drewd accidentally shrunk them with Uncle Al’s Atom Sucker. Uncle Al has been very busy during his vacation so Drewd has been getting up early to finish the Water Bug. It used to be an old Volkswagen Beetle, but Uncle Al has put in a glass floor, added a shark fin, coated the outside with Protectum, added a Super-Sniffer nose and a bathroom in the backseat. When Drewd knocks the destination dial out of place; Thudd, The Handy Ultra-Digital Detective, Judy and Drewd find themselves setting out on an adventure they had not planned. The Water bug is stuck on auto pilot when it sets out across a quiet lagoon and into the waves of the ocean. A giant squid, lemon yellow fish, shark attack, helpful dolphins, a mountain of coral, and a porcupine fish are some of the creatures the kids see on their trip to the underwater ocean world. A run in with an angry octopus and a bigger run in with Soggy Bob Sloggins who is down in the ocean stealing sea animals to display in the Animal Universe theme park he is building provide plenty of excitement before Drewd is able to repair the destination dial. Using information relayed to him via Thudd from Uncle Al Drewd the trio return in time to catch their flight home.
Writer Greenburg has produced an engaging view into the underwater panorama world of the ocean. By combining humor, plain good writing, fast paced adventure and solid scientific fact ‘Andrew Lost’ is a book sure to appeal to middle grade boys and girls alike. Without sounding like he is teaching; Thudd brings kids much information relating to the fascinating world teeming below the surface of the sea.
Drewd’s predilection for finding trouble at every turn is something boys in the target audience will understand. The girls will shake their heads knowingly as they consider their brother, cousin or that annoying kid sitting two seats away in the classroom. It is obvious that Greenburg has done her homework for both the science she presents through ‘Andrew Lost’, and into what appeals to kids in the middle grade age target group.
FThe narrative offered on the pages of ‘Andrew Lost’ is ideal for the classroom unit on the ocean, for the home library and for the home school parent searching for a book to interest kids in the 9-12 age group. Vocabulary used is within the scope of most 9 year olds. Little folks will enjoy having the tale read to them by parent, older sibling or student mentor.
Fast paced, entertaining read. Happy to recommend.