Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-Made Catastrophes by Lenore Look (Sept. 28, 2010)

Birthday parties are scary, especially girl’s birthday party. Anything can happen.
You might be dressed for bowling…
But everyone else is dressed for swimming.
You could get mistaken for the piñata…
Or worse, the donkey for the pin-the-tail game!
Someone might say hello…
And expect you to say hello back (p 48).

AlvinHoLenore Look has done it again. Alvin Ho is utterly charming as he attempts to navigate the complicated world of girls! When a party invitation arrives in the mail, it’s not for King Philip’s War but for Flea’s tea party. So Alvin seeks his brother’s advice on getting invited to a boy’s party and his friend Bucky’s advise on surviving a tea party. All the while, the reader can delight in Alvin’s unique thought-process and behavior.

My favorite aspect of Alvin’s world is his family. In many ways, it is like Clementine’s family. Both are patient, kind, and understanding. The parents are present and invested in a physical way, whether it’s Alvin’s father holding his hand or Clementine’s father hugging her. It is a thing of beauty to read about these close-knit families offering advise, love, support and occasionally discipline.


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