cover image The Pocket Guide to Mischief

The Pocket Guide to Mischief

Bart King, , illus. by Brenda Brown. . Gibbs Smith, $9.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-1-4236-0366-5

What kid could resist this title?

The Pocket Guide to Mischief Bart King , illus. by Brenda Brown. Gibbs Smith , $9.95 paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4236-0366-5

Sized for handy stashing in the inside pocket of a jacket, this primer for merry-prankster wannabes starts out with the obligatory request that readers play safe, and not damage property nor hurt anyone, neither psychically nor physically. After this, King takes off the brakes. From the smorgasbord of tricks: instead of TP’ing someone’s house at night, sprinkle the lawn with instant potato flakes (the dew will puff them up). And a tip: a pencil or pen clamped between the teeth effectively disguises one’s voice. From the historical record: forced into a duel, Abraham Lincoln named, as the choice of arms, cow manure. From the sports ledger: the mascots of Ohio’s Bryan & Stratton College are the Lemmings. Kids will also go for the Oxford Dictionary insults—e.g., “cockalorum”—recommended as replacements for “cuss words”; the detailed guide to shooting rubber bands; and the many scatological jokes. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)