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Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure
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Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure

by JT Petty, David Michael Friend (Illustrator)
 

Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt have the kind of last name nobody ever gets right (it's pronounced "Nasal Rod"). But when Milton and Chloe lose their parents in the department store, their name becomes much more than an annoyance -- it becomes out-and-out dangerous. Without any parents to claim them, the brother and sister are turned over to Y.K.K. Porifera, a wicked

Overview

Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt have the kind of last name nobody ever gets right (it's pronounced "Nasal Rod"). But when Milton and Chloe lose their parents in the department store, their name becomes much more than an annoyance -- it becomes out-and-out dangerous. Without any parents to claim them, the brother and sister are turned over to Y.K.K. Porifera, a wicked headmaster determined to lock them away forever in his orphan-powered zipper factory.

On the run from Porifera, scheming Milton and clever Chloe take refuge in an abandoned house, whose last owner inexplicably vanished the Halloween before. As the pumpkin patch in their new yard grows by leaps and bounds, Milton and Chloe try to unravel the mystery of the Argyle house. With October 31st getting closer and closer, the Nasselrogts start to suspect that what's growing in the patch may not be pumpkins at all, but something more monstrous and sinister.

Readers of JT Petty's darkly humorous thriller will find out why they should respect their candy and fear their vegetables.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Poor Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt. They think their parents are dead, and they have only just managed to escape from the Urchin House Orphanage (a front for a zipper factory, staffed by orphans who spend long hours "gluing zipper teeth one by one onto strips of plasticky fabric"). But hot on their heels is its evil director, the big-nostriled Yon Kinsky Kozinsky Porifera. Milton and Chloe stumble upon the house of a candy maker who has gone strangely missing, and eventually discover there is something even more sinister after them than Mr. Porifera—the rustling pumpkin patch right outside their front door. And, gads, it is growing (the simple line illustrations at the bottom of the pages capture this beautifully). Of course, they do not know the patch is to be feared until it develops a yearning for eight-year-old Chloe, kidnaps her, and hides her deep underground. Can Milton save Chloe in time? Will Porifera turn out to be more friend than foe? And could it be that Mr. and Mrs. Nasselrogt are very much alive and pining for the safe return of their missing children? Kudos to Petty: his raucous read has everything middle grade readers yearn for—fanciful scenarios, funny-sounding words, suspense, and kids fixing their own screw-ups. 2006, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 9 to 14.
—Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Temporarily orphaned by workaholic parents trapped in tanning beds at the mall, Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt escape the local zipper factory-cum-orphanage only to end up in the village of Goodfellow's Landing. Taking up temporary abode in the candy maker's abandoned house, the children discover that his squampkin patch (think carnivorous attack pumpkins) may be responsible for several mysterious disappearances. The plot becomes tangled when hundreds of viney squampkins rush the house. Petty has a tremendous gift for humor, his witty style paralleling that of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket. Gems like "What did I tell you about talking to yeti?" and "Milton could spot an Oompa Loompa reference from a mile off" will choke chuckles out of the most hardened readers. The zigzagging zany story shares Jean Ferris's talent of being almost too implausible to believe, although Petty avoids predictable happily-ever-after orphan story cliches. The squampkin patch captures its share of victims, leaving readers with disquieting images mixed with relief for Chloe and Milton's escape. While the ending is disappointingly rushed, readers will relish Petty's joyous use of language in this tantalizing confection.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What happens when you cross a Lemony Snicket title and The Rocky Horror Picture Show? You get this novel about deadly squash-pumpkin hybrids, two unpronounceably surnamed not-quite-orphans' deadly encounters with them and a villain who makes Count Olaf seem benevolent. Goofy action, adventure and comedy ensue after siblings Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt (Nasal Rod to you and me) escape the orphanage to which they're delivered after losing their parents in a department store. Getting out of there is easy compared to what's to follow as they find themselves embroiled in numerous unfortunate events involving a mysteriously vanished child-hating confectioner, his most-despised target, twin nemeses and the aforementioned killer crops. Sharp-eyed readers will note how the illustrations on double-page spreads progress throughout from sprout to monstrous vegetables. Overlong, but loopy fun. Includes a recipe for pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416902744
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
08/08/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
9 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

JT Petty is the author of Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer and The Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure. He is also a director and screenwriter for movies and video games. His film Soft for Digging was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. He received a Game Developers Choice Award for his work on the bestselling video game Splinter Cell. JT lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit his Web site at pettyofficial.com.

David Michael Friend is a freelance illustrator and animator living in Brooklyn, New York, whose creations have been used by such companies as Sesame Workshop, Disney, Jim Henson Company, and the Cartoon Network. He illustrated JT Petty's The Squampkin Patch, Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low, and the graphic novel Daniel and the Great Bearded One by Richard W. Friend III. Visit him at dmfriend.com.

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