cover image A Whole Nother Story

A Whole Nother Story

Cuthbert Soup, , illus. by Jeffrey Stewart Timmons. . Bloomsbury, $16.99 (264pp) ISBN 978-1-59990-435-1

Offbeat humor and wordplay by narrator Dr. Cuthbert Soup propel this very kid-friendly novel about inventor Ethan Cheeseman and his “three smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children,” who are in hiding. After one of Cheeseman's inventions attracts the wrong kind of attention, he and his children (who are ages eight, 12, and 14 and get to choose new aliases with each move) spend two years “on the run, scarcely keeping one step ahead of these corporate villains, foreign intelligence operatives, and members of government agencies so secretive that no one, not even those who work for them, knows their names.” Throughout, Dr. Soup intersperses humorous advice for readers: his warning signs that one has selected a “bad doctor” include “he... has a tattoo on his left wrist that, when seen in a mirror, forms the name of an evil international weapons conglomerate.” The storytelling, which merges deadpan narration with an absurdist sense of humor, is the real star of this fast-paced adventure. Final art not seen by PW . Ages 8–12. (Jan.)