* Panda-Monium

Panda-Monium, the 4th mystery in Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series, tops them all!  Teddy Fitzroy is back, this time with a girlfriend, in another hilarious and complex plot.  FunJungle is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Li Ping, a panda on loan from China.  Imagine their horror when the carefully designed truck arrives and Li Ping has disappeared!  This time, Teddy is relieved to take a back seat to the FBI investigation.  Or so he hopes.

Teddy’s nemesis, Marge O’Malley (the security officer who has been forever accusing him of every mishap at FunJungle), blackmails him into searching for solutions.  Marge is desperate to show up her pompous and condescending sister, FBI agent Molly O’Malley.  What are the odds that these two would end up at the same crime scene?  Teddy has faced black mambas, tigers, and sharks in previous FunJungle books, but Panda-Monium takes danger to a whole new level.  And the catastrophes are truly uproarious.  Although written for middle schoolers and above, I was also laughing wildly at Teddy’s adventures with dolphins and polar bears.

Stuart Gibbs continues to weave in other topics of interest to his readers, including bullying, friendships, and school cultures.  All of these are painted with the same outrageous humor but keep the book grounded in relevant topics.  Teddy is at his most determined, insightful, and clever, but I’ll leave you to enjoy the unveiling of the villains.  I will say that one of my favorite scenes was Marge driving a golf cart wildly through FunJungle, with poor Teddy and Summer hanging on for dear life.  Or maybe it was the polar bear disaster, which reveals a better side of Marge while still reminding us that she is clueless.

Panda-Monium has “perfect-for-a-movie” written all over it.  I hope you enjoy it!

panda-monium-

*** I only review books which I can highly recommend.  I read a lot of 3 -and 4-star books, but it’s the 5-star winners which make it to my blog. ***

* Alternative seating at school

Color Your World: Red Orange

Research is finally catching up with what teachers have known for years: Kids (and teachers!) do their best work when they are comfortably seated.  You will still find many hard plastic chairs in classrooms, but there are also nooks of beanbags, bouncy balls, and form-fitting chairs like this one in red orange.  As with instructional methods, one size does NOT fit all.

red orange chair

* Not on my bucket list

When the radiator finally stopped producing plumes of steam, I ventured a look under the hood/bonnet.  The maze of hoses, wires, and dripping green fluid made me think I had killed an alien.  And that’s my entry for Cee’s oddball challenge, along with an inspirational bucket nearby.  Seriously serendipitous.

 

* Age is not the enemy- song bird songs

Modern western culture portrays old age as somthing scary, ugly, the end of all the good stuff, to be fought veheminately. Celebrities go to great lengths to stave off its onslaughts with diets, creams and cosmetic surgery till they look like walking skulls. I remember the East where old age is venerated due to its […]

via Age is not the enemy. — Song Bird Songs

grandfather-and-granddaughter-outdoors-smiling_rKIW54C0Hi.jpg

 

* The cross

Color Your World: Turquoise

My dearest teaching widower got this turquoise cross for me on a trip many years ago.  It was sweet and brave of him, since I usually don’t wear jewelry.  I always think of it fondly., even more so now, since I can use it to start catching up with this blogging challenge.  Thank you, dearest one!

turquoise necklace

* Cee’s B & W challenge

This sign came in black and white, which is handy for me!  It was posted on a barn at Colonial Williamsburg.  If you look at the names of those involved, it was apparently a small troupe.  I could use a bit of Comick Opera, while tomorrow’s fare promises to be rather risque.

sign on barn