This is a fun chapter book for boys and girls! In "Relish," the first of two stories, Martin Bridge and his Junior Badger troop head into the woods to work on their camping badges. A variety of hilarity ensues, involving practical jokes, slime, scotch tape sculptures, and Morse code. In "Lightning Bolts," Martin learns to love his dad's rusty old lawnmower for the things it helps his dad teach him. While both stories involve lessons about relating to family and friends and about navigating pre-adolescence, neither is preachy. Joseph Kelly's illustrations add just the right touch of humor and interest. Kelly's prose works well as a read-aloud-together book or a textured story for new chapter-book readers. The book even includes a recipe for slime and instructions for sending your own secret Morse code signals. This is the third Martin Bridge collaboration from Kerrin and Kelly, and this reviewer is hooked.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Martin Bridge returns in another book that's just as funny as the previous titles in the series. In the first chapter, he is on an overnight camping trip with the Junior Badgers, including his prankster friend, Alex. In the second chapter, Martin has to help his Dad fix the lawn mower during his favorite show. However, he discovers this time spent with his father has fostered a closer bond and has taught him mechanical skills that he can share with his friends. In the end, he helps decorate the lawn mower with lightning bolts because Dad's favorite superhero from childhood was Volt Thundercloud. Kelly's expressive, quirky drawings in graphite and charcoal with digital shading complement the text. The book's delightful characters and engaging stories will provide a boy-centered alternative to Barbara Park's "Junie B. Jones" books and Mary Pope Osborne's "Magic Tree House" series (both Random).-Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Martin Bridge is back, in an entirely likable early chapter book written with affection and humor. Two stories continue the series that began with Martin Bridge: Ready for Takeoff! (2005). Martin's in a pickle in "Relish," when he goes on his first overnight camping trip with his Junior Badgers. Sharing a cabin room with his friend Alex is a mixed blessing, since Alex is a known prankster-guess who becomes the object of Alex's slimy prank. Martin gets his revenge, though not exactly as he had planned. "Lightning Bolts," the more subtle and insightful of the two stories, is about a familiar family conflict: Mr. Bridge wants help fixing the lawnmower, but Martin wants to watch television. It turns out, though, not to be about the lawnmower at all, but the father-son relationship that Martin comes to appreciate. Realistic, everyday situations, likable characters and simple stories written in rich language with solid dialogue and humor will make this a series with endless variations, and readers will eagerly anticipate every new installment. (Fiction. 7-10)