Bowling Alley Bandit (Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut Series #1)

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As Mr. Bing's new pet "doughnut dog," Arnie couldn't be happier. When Mr. Bing joins a bowling league, Arnie gets to go along to practices and competitions. But then Mr. Bing starts rolling gutter balls. Someone or something is behind the madness. Arnie, together with his team of goofball friends, must sort through the shenanigans and solve the mystery. Get ready for some sleuthing and even some magic.

            Full of Laurie Keller?s winning ...

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As Mr. Bing's new pet "doughnut dog," Arnie couldn't be happier. When Mr. Bing joins a bowling league, Arnie gets to go along to practices and competitions. But then Mr. Bing starts rolling gutter balls. Someone or something is behind the madness. Arnie, together with his team of goofball friends, must sort through the shenanigans and solve the mystery. Get ready for some sleuthing and even some magic.

            Full of Laurie Keller’s winning charm and silly humor, this chapter book—the first in the series—is sure to please her many fans.

Bowling Alley Bandit is a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Keller continues the saga of the fast-talking star of her 2003 picture book, Arnie the Doughnut, in this funny kickoff to a heavily illustrated chapter book series. Arnie sets the scene with a brief rehash of that story, in which Mr. Bing decides (with some persuasion) not to eat Arnie, but to adopt him as his “doughnut-dog.” In this tale, Arnie accompanies Mr. Bing to the bowling alley, where his team is competing for the league championship. Arnie’s wisecracking narrative, zippy dialogue and asides, exuberant typography, and riotous cartooning (Albert Einstein even makes a couple cameos) all feed the tale’s full-throttle slapstick humor. Arnie sings karaoke (“Doughnut make my brown eyes blue”), leads the crowd in belting out “Take Me Out for Some Bowling” during the “seventh-frame stretch,” and makes some bowling alley friends (“In fact, between the bowling balls, bowling pins, and rental shoes I’ve made 8 homies, 11 peeps, and 13 BFF’s!”). And, as frosting on the—well, doughnut—he also discovers why Mr. Bing is throwing gutter balls. Keller shrewdly targets hesitant readers with an abundance of goofy comedy. Ages 7–10. (June)
From the Publisher
"Arnie the doughnut returns in a “who-donut” chapter book that will appeal to fans of Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” (Scholastic) and Lincoln Peirce’s “Big Nate” (HarperCollins) series." — School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for Bowling Alley Bandit:

*"A yummy chapter-book series opener." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Praise for Arnie, the Doughnut

A Chicago Tribune precinct pick for the holidays

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

A Publishers Weekly Editor's Pick

A Publishers Weekly Best Children Books 2003

A Publishers Weekly Tastiest-and Most Well-Rounded-Title Character Award


“Arnie takes destiny into his own hands with vastly entertaining results.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Laurie Keller is a goofball. She’s a genius. She’s a goofball and a genius.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Keller gives ‘pet food’ a new meaning in this savory outing. . . . So deliciously silly is this confection that few readers will pass up second helpings.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Good for a belly laugh.” —Newsday

“Arnie is one of the cleverest and funniest books I’ve seen in a long time.” —BookPage

“Packed with fun and sprinkled with so many illustrative and humorous asides.” —Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN

“In picture books, usually only dogs are as funny as this. Keller doesn’t miss a trick.” —San Diego Union Tribune

“Keller’s riotous collages . . . which are filled with gleeful puns, winning characters, and over-the-top silliness, are as manic and fun as a sugar high.” —Booklist

“Off-the-wall humor and zany artwork.” —Seattle Post Intelligencer

Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Although Arnie is a doughnut, he becomes Mr. Bing’s “doughnut dog.” The cartoon illustrations take the reader along on Arnie’s adventures with Mr. Bing. Here, Arnie compares the members of the bowling team to doughnuts because of their appearances. He even participates in karaoke at the Bowl-O’-Chow in the bowling alley, adapting “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to “Take Me Out for Some Bowling.” After Mr. Bing starts rolling gutter balls, Arnie’s doughnut-style sleuthing solves this inferior bowling technique mystery. The Bingbats then win the championship against the Yada-Yadas. Correct bowling strategy and techniques are shown amid the humor throughout the book. This is a “Junior Library Selection,” and it is the first story in “The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut” series. It is a delightful and humorous read for young readers. In the next book, Invasion of the Ufonuts, Arnie meets alien doughnuts from Outer Spastry (outer space). This book is age appropriate and filled with silly humor. It was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith; Ages 10 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Arnie the doughnut returns in a "who-donut" chapter book that will appeal to fans of Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" (Scholastic) and Lincoln Peirce's "Big Nate" (HarperCollins) series. Iced with chocolate and covered with sprinkles, the "doughnut dog" catches readers up-to-date since he debuted in his own picture book, Arnie the Doughnut (Holt, 2003). The first chapter recaps how he became a doughnut dog and beloved friend to Mr. Bing, who instead of eating Arnie decides to adopt him as his pet. Readers then follow adventures that occur during Arnie's favorite Tuesday-night outings to the bowling alley with Mr. Bing and his buddies. Comic-style drawings fill the pages, providing abundant humor and tons of spoofy comedy for reluctant readers. Children will stay engaged as Arnie and friends try to discover why Mr. Bing keeps throwing gutter balls during the tournament when he usually is a high-scoring bowler. Does the opposing team, the Yada-Yadas, have something to do with it? With zany, quirky characters (talking pizza, break-dancing bowling pins, animated shoes) and a fast-paced, silly story line, the book will have readers looking for Arnie and Mr. Bing's next adventure.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A bowling tournament gives the rolling raconteur introduced in the 2003 picture book Arnie the Doughnut fresh scope for wisecracks and wild misadventures. Arnie goes to the bowling alley weekly to meet his cheesy triangular friend Peezo and belt out hits (from "Livin' la vi-DOUGH loca!" to "DOUGHNUT make my brown eyes blue") at the karaoke machine for admiring crowds while his (human) buddy Mr. Bing hits the lanes. Their visits slide into a scurry of sleuthing when Mr. Bing's new ball, Betsy, inexplicably starts heading for the gutter rather than the pins on every roll. Presented in a frenetic mix of narrative, cartoon collages, dialogue balloons and melodramatic exclamations, the investigation leads the chocolate-frosted shamus to an identity thief at the end of a trail of dropped sprinkles and other clues. Unsurprisingly, it also provides opportunities aplenty to drop punch lines as well as to lay out bowling techniques and rules with help from a confused baseball umpire ("Ya see, Ump, in baseball strikes are BAD, but in bowling they're GOOD!"), Albert Einstein and other walk-ons. Like triumphant Mr. Bing, Keller walks off with a "Stiffy Stu McShiny" award for this yummy chapter-book series opener. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805090765
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Series: Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut Series , #1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 95,288
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, The Scrambled States of America, and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, among numerous others. She earned a BFA at Kendall College of Art and Design, then worked at Hallmark as a greeting card illustrator before turning to children’s books. She lives in a little cottage in the woods on the shore of Lake Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2014

    We love Arnie! My now 9yo daughter fell in love with Arnie's fir

    We love Arnie! My now 9yo daughter fell in love with Arnie's first book and were so happy we "stumbled" on this at the local library.  Laurie Keller's books are wonderful and this is no exception.  Arnie's adventures at the bowling alley are wonderful.  The only complaint is that it isn't long enough.  We are looking forward to more books in the series and have been counting the days until UFOnuts came out.

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