________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 38 . . . . June 4, 2010

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Looking for Love on Mongo Tongo. (Babysitter Out of Control).

Margaret J. McMaster.
Kingsville, ON: Mansbridge Dunn Publishers (contact author at margmcmaster@yahoo.ca), 2010.
57 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 978-0-9810525-2-6.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Barb Taylor.

***½ /4

What happens when Mrs. Chairbottom’s pet parrot develops an insatiable love for a female parrot living in the wilds of Mongo Tongo? He loses his feathers, and all the protagonists fear worse outcomes.

     As with Margaret McMaster’s previous book, Babysitter Out of Control, this book is written as a beginner’s chapter book. The prose is primarily dialogue, and the story is to the point and quickly paced.

     The main character in the story is the babysitter, Mrs. Chairbottom, an eccentric elderly lady who, it turns out, was once a World War II spy. Along with her parrot Petey, Mrs. Chairbottom provides her young charge, Stewart, with an adventure surpassing the run-of-the-mill holiday his parents are taking.

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     The story gets to the adventure quickly as Stewart is whisked away in Mrs. Chairbottom’s private jet and parachuted to the jungles of Mongo Tongo. They find “Jezebel,” Petey’s love, captured and confined as a hotel attraction. The plot to rescue Jezebel and reunite the two lovesick birds takes many hair-raising, breath-taking twists.

     Young readers will enjoy Petey’s and Mrs. Chairbottom’s amusing antics and be swept along in this fast paced story.

     I particularly enjoyed Stewart’s quick emails to his parents which provide snippets of his adventure.


Dear Mom and Dad,
Petey and I found Jezebel at a hotel down the beach.
The manager won’t give her to us so we’re launching a raid tonight.
Love, Stewart
P.S. Don’t worry. Mrs. Chairbottom has done this before.


     The four full-page illustrations, placed strategically at high interest intervals, show Stewart, Mrs. Chairbottom, and a nervously moulting Petey, as they live out their adventure.

     Looking for Love on Mongo Tongo is a lighthearted, amusing, face-paced adventure that will thrill young readers.

Highly Recommended.

Barb Taylor is a Junior Kindergarten teacher, freelance writer, and recent MLIS graduate.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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