Horvath, Polly illus. by Marilyn Hafner. The Pepins and Their Problems. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004. ISBN 978-0374358174 179 pp. $
Polly Horvath has come out with another winner. The Pepins and Their Problems is a great book for kids who like Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar and Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking books. The Pepins are funny, goofy, idiotic, and doofy. Horvath tells their story in episodes, speaking conversationally to the characters and to the reader in a Baudelaire style (also familiar to Lemony Snicket fans). Horvath is able to communicate telepathically with the readers so that when the Pepins are having a problem–a new one in every chapter–the readers can help to solve the dilemma.
My favorite episode in the story is when the Pepins host a “Neighbor-Off” to decide once and for all who the better neighbor is, the very fine Mr. Bradshaw or Miss Poopenstat. The neighbors compete in a variety of contests: bringing chicken soup to the sick neighbor, rescuing the neighbors injured pet, purchasing items from the neighbors children etc. It’s hysterical.
My second favorite episode if when the very fine Mr. Bradshaw falls in love with a…….sorry dear reader. You will have to read the book yourself to find out about the object of Mr. Bradshaw’s affection.
Put this book on your humor bibliography list and hand it to the kids who like those silly books.