The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron

Overview

Because her rock star parents fail to give her enough attention, eleven-year-old Billie stows away in Uncle Myron's Cadillac and joins him in fantastic travels.

Because her rock star parents fail to give her enough attention, eleven-year-old Billie stows away in Uncle Myron's Cadillac and joins him in fantastic travels.

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Overview

Because her rock star parents fail to give her enough attention, eleven-year-old Billie stows away in Uncle Myron's Cadillac and joins him in fantastic travels.

Because her rock star parents fail to give her enough attention, eleven-year-old Billie stows away in Uncle Myron's Cadillac and joins him in fantastic travels.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An Alice in Wonderland-style plot and a madcap pace propel the reader through this wild adventure about a girl and her little brother who ride a Cadillac to a land where crows talk, motels fly and an evil leader named Kingfish tries to ply them with vats of pudding. Billie is bored because her parents, who are rock stars, leave her alone in hotel rooms as they do concert tours around the world. So she hides with Bix, her brother, in the back of her Uncle Myron's car-but she doesn't realize she'll end up in Borderland ("between where you came from and where you are going"), alone and as disoriented as Alice down the rabbit hole. Separated from Bix, she spends most of her time locating him (in the clutches of the perfidious Kingfish) and then rescuing him. With plenty of fizz and pizzazz, this story is as frenetic as a Saturday morning cartoon, complete with motorcyle-riding amphibians, dancing elephants and bizarre humans. Len Jenkin is an award-winning playwright, and Emily Jenkins is his daughter. This lushly colored crazy quilt of a fantasy is their first children's book. Ages 10-13. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - C. Darren Butler
Uncle Myron drives a 1958 Cadillac Convertible with a red foghorn bolted to the front. When he comes to visit Billie and her rich, rock-star parents, she decides to sneak aboard before he leaves, to get attention and to solve the mystery of where he goes in between his short, infrequent visits. She brings her baby brother, Bix, along to prevent him from tattling. Still hidden in the car, Billie falls asleep, and awakens to find herself in a bizarre land with talking animals, a traveling hotel, an insurance-selling clam, a ukulele-playing frog, a Goat Library who has committed 10,000 volumes to memory, gangs of motorcycle-riding fish wearing helmets filled with seawater, and a talking watermelon-robot named Clark Kent that travels around in a wheelchair, filming any action he can find to entertain his bedridden creator. Billie loses her brother in Borderland, and much of the book's action concerns her attempts to find and rescue him.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A convoluted tale of a little girl's quest for a happy family. Billie, 11, stows away in her Uncle Myron's big blue `58 Cadillac, taking her 2-year-old brother, Bix, with her. She figures running away from her ignorant, boring tutor and neglectful, rock-star parents will provide the adventurous spark her life needs-and just might bring her some attention, too. So far, so good. Then the Secret Life turns into a fantastical mess. Uncle Myron's Caddy is a special vehicle that travels across the Endless Desert that links Earth with Borderland. Once they've crossed over to the other side, Bix is kidnapped by the Kingfish, and Billie finds herself dealing with weird situations and animals. Billie's surreal adventures include flying motels; a robot reporter named Clark Kent, who relentlessly videotapes everything; Your Library Goat, a walking encyclopedia; 300-pound "Groupers," gang fish who are versed in hurling insults, riding choppers, and squishing dissidents; talking animals of all persuasions; and the baddie of Borderland, Kingfish, who claims to have been a secretary of the United Nations and a former NFL linebacker before finding his niche as Big Brother. Throughout are numerous obscure references, both contemporary and literary, that will completely elude a young audience. The Jenkin & Jenkins Oz/Wonderland/Oceana is so disjointed that even the most vivid imaginations will have to struggle to find their way home.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Kirkus Reviews
When Billie and her baby brother, Bix, neglected children of rock stars, stow away in their uncle's car, they find themselves transported to the Borderland, a world where animals talk. When Bix is kidnapped by the evil Kingfish, Billie must try to rescue him, with help from a shady crow and a talking wheelchair. No one would ever accuse the father-and-daughter team of Jenkin and Jenkins of lacking imagination, but there's little evidence of discipline or focus anywhere. The endless parade of invention for its own sake rapidly loses control; at first diverting, the action becomes numbing, and readers won't care enough about the characters to keep traipsing after them. Truly original creative turns show promise, but can't compensate for a wild-card plot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805043952
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.65 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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