When Jo Jo Wigman and her classmates plant their new class garden, they're expecting rows and rows of plump, juicy fruits and vegetables. But what they unearth is a pretty rotten bunch! That gnarly old lettuce head, The Romaine Gladiator, rises from the garden patch with dastardly plans to reunite the ...
When Jo Jo Wigman and her classmates plant their new class garden, they're expecting rows and rows of plump, juicy fruits and vegetables.
But what they unearth is a pretty rotten bunch!
That gnarly old lettuce head, The Romaine Gladiator, rises from the garden patch with dastardly plans to reunite the Brotherhood of Evil Produce! Can the Magic Pickle make a knuckle sandwich out of those notorious no-good veggies before their seeds of destruction destroy the world?
Gr 3–5—One of a series of illustrated chapter books coming on the heels of Morse's graphic novel (Scholastic, 2008), this title continues the adventures of Jo Jo Wigman and the superpowered pickle that lives in a secret government base underneath her bedroom. This particular adventure focuses on Jo Jo's agricultural class project and the plant growth serum she finds in the Magic Pickle's lab. The spot illustrations are lively, with crackling energy dots and a constant sense of action and movement. The prose is occasionally interrupted by short bursts of story told in a pure comic-book format before returning to text at the start of a new chapter. These segments don't seem to add anything that the illustrations don't already provide, but they do give the audience one more guided way to read and participate in the action. While the story contains a minor lesson about personal responsibility, the main focus seems to be the emphatic prose, which is littered with sound effects and visual punch to increase the action quotient and the ease of reading. The comic segments, typography sound effects, and the like are cues with which struggling readers can propel themselves along.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
Scott Morse is the award-winning author of more than ten graphic novels for children and adults, including SOULWIND; THE BAREFOOT SERPENT; and SOUTHPAW. He's currently an animator at Pixar and has also worked for Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nickelodeon. Scott lives with his loving family in Northern California.