Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Reviews: The Phantom of the Post Office and Hollywood, Dead Ahead

I am a sucker for a punny book by Kate Klise, with the outstanding illustrations of M. Sarah Klise. I loved the first three books in this 43 Old Cemetery Road Series: Dying to Meet You, Over My Dead Body, and Till Death Do Us Bark. Like the Regarding Series, these books are full of characters with clever names, interesting story development told through letters, transcriptions and newspapers, and good educational fun.

In Phantom of the Post Office, I.B. Grumply, Olive C. Spence, and Seymour Hope are hard at work on their next installment of their serialized novel but are not sure how it will be distributed since the Ghastly Post Office is closing for good soon, to welcome in the advent of Vext-mail (video enhanced text messaging). Ghastly's postmaster, Sue Perstishus, is entirely against the development, but cannot convince the U.S. Postmaster General, Sal U. Tayshuns to back down on the idea. In the midst of this, Seymour finds himself in the hospital with the flu, where, through correspondence, he meets M. Balm's niece, Wynonna "Wy" Fye and discusses the classic book, The Phantom of the Opera. Wy is a reluctant participant in the correspondence department because she is addicted to her cell phone, which her uncle confiscates and passes along to I.B. Grumply for the duration of her month-long visit. Dr. Izzy Dedyet is hard on the case, trying to cure them of this phantom flu bug in time to save the post office.

In Hollywood, Dead Ahead, the writer/illustrator trio are welcomed to Hollywood when Moe Block Busters proposes to make their novel into a movie. Olive can't get any respect and Grumply and Hope are changing, and not for the better, because of their imminent stardom. Olive works with the new leading lady, Ivana Oscar, to remedy the bad contracts, murder plots, and altered story lines of the film. With characters like Luke Ahtmee and Mel O. Drama, you're sure to get another laugh.

These books, geared towards ages 9-12, are simply delightful. I was thrilled to learn that the Klise sisters are hard at work on a sixth installment, entitled Greetings from the Graveyard, where we are promised another mystery and more cleverly named characters, like the butler, T. Leeves. Keep up the great work, Klise sisters! I, for one, love your puns and clever story lines.

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