Mortimer Henryson loves Plantzilla, the plant he's been taking care of all year in his third-grade classroom. He loves him so much, he takes him home for summer vacation. What could go wrong with a . . . plant? But life in the Henryson household soon takes a strange turn. A pot roast disappears, then steaks from the grill--and where has Mrs. Henryson's prize Chihuahua gone?
In this hilarious story told ingeniously through letters, Jerdine Nolen and David Catrow team up to show that when there's enough love, even the most unlikely character can become part of a family.
About the Author
JERDINE NOLEN is the author of Raising Dragons, which won the Christopher Award and was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. She lives in Maryland.
DAVID CATROW has illustrated many books for children, including Cinderella Skeleton and The Emperor's Old Clothes, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He lives in Ohio.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Plantzilla based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I homeschool my children, ages 4 and 9, and I found this book online while researching plant science for our home studies. I read that it was great for interesting kids in how plants grow and that it was funny. I also loved the colorful illustrations on the cover and the title was catchy. Well, there is wisdom in the saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover". The story is presented in the form of letters between a student, his mother, and his teacher after a class plant, Plantzilla, is placed in the boy's care for the summer. Some of the letters are written in cursive, making it slightly difficult to read through for my daughter who is just learning cursive. The illustrations were a bit busy for my preschooler and I had to point out things in the pictures for her, when usually she is quite observant and can point things out to me. My girls sat quietly as we read it together, but not once did they laugh or giggle or even crack a smile. They were uninterested in the plot, except for the part where the plant seemingly ate the family dog. The illustrations showed the puppy still running around though the story said that he was missing and so that part confused us a little. After the first read, my children have not requested it to be read a second time. My older girl thumbed through the pages quickly and then placed it back on the shelf. We were disappointed in this book and overall I would say that the author tried to be funny without really succeeding and that the illustrations were bright and fun, but a little busy for my taste. Definitely a book for slightly older children, at least third grade. Oh, and there was nothing in the book about how plants grow. There may have been a line or two about the plant needing water and sunlight, and that it preferred to eat meat. If I would have read this book before ordering it, I would have known to borrow it from the library instead. This book is collecting dust and will most likely be donated in the near future.
Genre: Science Fiction Review: This book is so funny! I laughed out loud to it. It is Science Fiction because it talks about a boy who takes home the class plant for the summer and does everything the teacher tells him to do about taking care of it; watering, sunshine, "combing" the soil, etc. (Science portion). It is fiction because the plant grows so much and takes over the house, and the amount that it grows, can not be real. Plot: The climax of this story is when Plantzilla grows to be so big that he is overtaking the house and eating all the food! Mortimer and his parents are out of ideas of what to do and they write to the teacher about what to do. The parents write one about how to get rid of it and Mortimer writes one asking to convince his parents to let him keep it. Letters come back and the parents end up falling in love with the plant and saying it's a plant that every boy deserves. Mortimer almost lost his plant, but ended up being able to keep it. Media: Watercolor and pencil