Sunday, October 27, 2019

REVIEW: Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster (book) by Joanna Nadin

Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster is a humorous children's book. I purchased my copy.


Penny Dreadful's actual name is Penelope Jones. It's the nickname her dad gave her because she is so often a magnet for disaster.

In the book's first story, Penny decides to become a hairstylist because she learns that hairstylists can charge $15 for a haircut. She would only need to do one and a half haircuts in order to pay her mom back for her last disaster and go to Monkey Madness safari park with her sister. (Penny's math was a little off since she needed almost $26, but whatever.) In the book's second story, Penny finds a dog, decides he's been abandoned, and tries to find a home for him after her mom refuses to let him stay with them. In the book's third story, a School Inspector is scheduled to visit Penny's school, and everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior.

This was one of my book purchases for my youngest niece. I found it entertaining in a "please don't let the kids get any ideas" kind of way.

In the first story in particular, Penny wasn't so much a magnet for disaster as she was an architect of disasters. Part of her seemed to realize that her hairstylist idea would be frowned upon. But since it wasn't specifically forbidden, she decide it would be fine, even though she'd previously been forbidden from using her parents' scissors due to past incidents.

Penny meant well in the second story, but she couldn't rein herself in, much less a dog, and so of course it all blew up. The second story was probably my least favorite out of the bunch, because one of the things that happened to the dog would have required surgery in real life. It ate the receiver of a baby monitor. Penny and Cosmo found the whole thing amusing because they could use the baby monitor to make the dog seem like it was talking, and the adults' greatest concern was how much the baby monitor set cost, because in the world of this book apparently a dog can just poop something like that out and be perfectly fine.

I will grant that, in the third story, things were already going pretty wrong when Penny got involved - all she did was make things a bit worse, and even then it was an accident that could have happened to several other students in the class. Here's hoping Penny's poor teacher doesn't regularly have days as bad as that one.

Penny's narration had a breathless quality to it, and she tended to include lots of numbered lists and words in all caps. I found it a little exhausting, but I'm hoping her energy will appeal to my equally energetic niece.

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