cover image School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School

School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School

Kate McMullan and George Booth, Feiwel and Friends, $12.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-312-37592-8

"What did you learn at school today, son?" asks the mother of Ron Faster, just one of the off-kilter students at Harvey N. Trouble Elementary. "That's easy," Ron replies. "I learned that if fifty-six kids get together, it's bye-bye beanie weenies." If 30 Rock were set in an elementary school, one suspects it would resemble this loopy, breakneck comedy. Unfolding between Hotsy-Totsy Monday and Yowee-Ka-Zowee Friday, and peopled with characters named Hugh da Mann, Gladys Friday, and Iona Tricycle, McMullan's (the Dragon Slayers' Academy series) story, such as it is, manages to encompass an exploding volcano project, two janitors who keep resigning, a passel of blithely deranged teachers, and a bus driver who refuses to acknowledge his penchant for getting stuck in a ditch (" ‘Stuck in a ditch?' asked a road worker. ‘That's me,' said Mr. Ivan Stuckinaditch. ‘Ben Diggin here,' said the road worker"). It's best not to think too much about plot and character development—just enjoy the ride and delight in the gemlike, maniacal Booth (Starlight Goes to Town) drawings that generously pepper the pages. Ages 6–9. (Aug.)