cover image Oh No, It's Robert

Oh No, It's Robert

Barbara Seuling, Paul Brewer. Cricket Books, $15.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-8126-2934-7

Robert, the likable and well-intentioned hero of this upbeat chapter book, desperately wants to win the class achievement contest and add his first award to the accolades of the rest of his family. As Robert attempts the accomplishments necessary to win the golden ""treasure chest,"" the journey, from the pig stamp he's received for messy homework in the past to first prize, seems impossible. Then Robert's best friend Paul convinces him to advertise his services as a Super Helper, and suddenly Robert, who hates math and couldn't finish a book on his own, becomes indispensable: he reorganizes the class library and assists every teacher in school. The classroom antics offer some diversions as Robert's oral report on the importance of the toilet's invention backfires, and during cleanup for an art project, he inadvertently leaves dead fish in the supply cupboard over Thanksgiving vacation. Robert's evolving empathy toward the class bully, however, and his suspicions that Paul may be the mad ""Scribbler"" who's ruining the library books emerge as the winning aspects of the story. Quirky pen-and-ink illustrations heighten the volume's comic aspects. Readers struggling to define and expand their own talents will enjoy watching Robert discover his. Ages 7-10. (June)