Molly's Reviews

Fancy Crazy HydrantsThe Adventures of the FancyCrazyHydrants (TM)
Baltazar Ray

Interesting Read ... Recommended ... 5 stars

The year is 2999 and fire hydrants no longer serve the purpose they once did. Many today are old and outdated and stand only to provide revenue when motorists park in front of them. When two unsuspecting older hydrants are toppled from their posts and are tossed into the back of a truck loaded with other hydrants an escapade is about to begin. Hydra and Pluggo feel the magic in the air, they hear a voice telling them 'I will be watching.' And the pair are told they have heretofore unknown powers. Soon Hydra and Pluggo are puzzling over what those powers might be as they set out for Guerlin City. They are not sure just what is drawing them there, but they do mean to find out. A bridge, a dog who has been turned into a hydrant, Ben and Guido the collectors of the old hydrants, a child in a burning building and the adventure has just begun. Meet Five Feet, the Mohegan River, kidnappers and children rescued, Fred the Baker and Veeda the duck continue the narrative. When Pluggo decides to stay with the ducks; Hydra knows he must press on alone. Before long Hydra is reunited with Pluggo, the exploit takes new turns and a near disaster is averted.

"Fancy Crazy Hydrants" is meant for target audience six to eleven years old. I believe reading vocabulary used by the author is beyond the scope of most six and seven year olds, however the book does lend itself nicely as a 'read to me' type chapter book for use by parents and teachers alike. Some twenty chapters spanning 161 pages and the words 'to be continued' will no doubt captivate young readers. The notion that hydrants can come to life and perform heroic feats is sure to tickle the fancy of the middle grades portion of the target audience. "Fancy Crazy Hydrants" is a good choice for the 'quiet reading time' following the tumult of noon recess for middle grade youngsters when teacher reads a chapter a day.

Writer Baltazar Ray presents a novel notion with his initial offering. He says he plans to continue the hydrant series. I was sent an uncorrected ARC for review, it has some glitches of syntax which no doubt will be corrected when the final product is produced in November 2004.

Fun names, lots of adventure, fast pace, "Fancy Crazy Hydrants" is a merry read.




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2005 by Molly Martin