Skip to main content

Book Review: Artsy Fartsy by Karla Oceanak


Aldo Zelnick is a 10-year old boy living in Colorado with his parents and his older brother. He's a bit lazy, unlike his older brother who is quite athletic. While on summer vacation, Aldo's grandmother, who everyone calls Goosy, gives him a sketchbook and encourages him to record all his "artsy-fartsy" ideas in it. Then his neighbor suggests he write in it as well. He reluctantly starts drawing and writing. Soon, Aldo discovers a love of sketching and creating cartoons. But when he leaves his sketchbook in the fort he and his friend Jack built, he suddenly finds girly drawings mixed in with his own. Now they're on a quest to figure out who tampered with his sketchbook ~ and to make sure they don't do it again!

Artsy-Fartsy by Karla Oceanak starts with a similar premise as Diary of a Wimpy Kid ~ a kid is given a journal/sketchbook and reluctantly starts writing and drawing in it. But Arsty-Fartsy is geared toward a slightly younger crowd. The author recommends the Aldo Zelnick series for ages 7-13 and this seems right to me. The characters in the book are in elementary school, rather than middle school, so the issues they're dealing with are a bit more appropriate for elementary aged kids. C has read the first four Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but they introduced some topics I wasn't crazy about. Artsy-Fartsy is perfect for him at age 7, and I'm exited to know he'll have the rest of the series to look forward to over the next few years.

One of the great things about this Aldo Zelnick series is the focus on vocabulary. This first book, Artsy-Fartsy includes more than 50 interesting words that begin with A, such as annihilate, apprehensive and augment. They are marked throughout the book with an * and then there's a glossary in the back of the book that defines each one in a fun and easy-to-understand way. I love this method of introducing new vocabulary words. The next book features B words, and so on.

So far there are three books in the series: Artsy-Fartsy, Bogus and Cahoots. I received the set as a prize for participating in the Armchair BEA Twitter party back in May. C is now reading Bogus and seems to be enjoying that one too. Dumbstruck, the fourth book in the series comes out later this year.

If you have an elementary aged kid who is interested in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (and may not be ready for the topics in that series), or enjoys funny, realistic stories written from the perspective of a kid, definitely have them try this Aldo Zelnick series. I think they'll like it!

My Rating: 5/5

For more information, visit the Aldo Zelnick website

This review was written based on a copy of Artsy-Fartsy that I received as a prize from the Armchair BEA. I was under no obligation to write a review of this book.

What have you been reading with your children this week? Hop on over to Mouse Grows Mouse Learns to share! And check out Book Sharing Monday too!

Comments

  1. I think there has been an issue withcomments on this post. I apologize. You should be able to comment now. If you can't, let me know. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon


My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…

Book Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Title: The Darkest Corners
Author: Kara Thomas
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Published: May 9, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Random House Children's Books
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)


Tessa Lowell left Fayette, Pennsylvania, when she was just 9 years old, moving to Florida with her grandmother. Now she's a recent high school graduate and heading back to town to say goodbye to her dying father. With no family in town anymore, Tessa stays with the family of her former friend Callie, which is pretty awkward since she and Callie haven't spoken since they were little. Being with Callie also brings up questions that Tessa has held onto for the years since she's been gone. Questions about the testimony the young girls gave that sent a man to death row. 

I don't read many young adult novels, but The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas was touted as "the next twisted psychological thriller," so I decided to give it a try... and I'm glad I did. While the story moves r…