The Notebook of Doom, Rise of the Balloon Goons


The Notebook of Doom, Rise of the Balloon Goons by Troy Cummings

Age Range: 6-8 years

Series: The Notebook of Doom #1

Genre: Humor/Science Fiction

Paperback: 96 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (June 25, 2013)

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Monsters + Humor + Fun = THE NOTEBOOK OF DOOM!

This series is
part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches. Aimed at 5- to
7-year-olds, this line of books is for children who are just starting to
read independently. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content,
fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will
boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

has just moved to a new town where he is about to uncover all sorts of
monsters! He finds an old notebook with the word “DOOM” inscribed on the
front cover. The Notebook of Doom, which Alexander now holds, contains
top secret information about monsters! In this first book, Alexander
goes up against spooky balloon goons–unique and twisted arm-waving
balloon men! This book is full of humor, engaging black-and-white
illlustrations, and of course . . . monsters!

About the Author/Illustrator:

Troy Cummings has been drawing since he was a little kid. His
illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines, on web sites,
on frozen-fish-stick packages, and in hospital waiting rooms. He lives
in Indiana with his cat and  family.

He has published two picture books so far: THE EENSY WEENSY SPIDER
FREAKS OUT! and MORE BEARS! His third picture book, GIDDY-UP, DADDY! is
due out in April 2013. THE NOTEBOOK OF DOOM is his first early chapter
book series. He lives in Indiana with his cat and family.


 Interior illustration from Rise of the Balloon Goons.

My Thoughts:

Finally!  An early chapter book worth talking about!  With the popularity of scary themes and mysteries, this book is perfect to introduce a youngster into the world of reading.  I read this with my 5 year old daughter and she loved it.  She went back through the book, page by page after we read it, looking at the pictures and talking about what happened in the story.

Alexander is the new kid in town and he is noticing a lot of strange things happening. The balloon goons you see in front of car dealerships start appearing everywhere.  Car tires are mysteriously going flat all over town. But that’s nothing compared to the mysterious notebook he finds, or the unexpected birthday guests.

The plot is a full, complete story that is simplified for early readers.  There isn’t any skimping when it comes to buildup and character development.  The characters are fun and each one plays their role in the story quite well.  There is humor, mystery, suspense, and friendship in this little chapter book.  I am SO glad that this is going to be a series because I know at least one little girl that can’t wait to read the next one!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    July 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I already know I am going to love these illustrations. I've been watching a lot of "horror" children's movies so I have been in a mood for something like this. It might be just what I need.

    P.S. I love that your daughter loves books about monsters.

    • Reply
      July 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Me too. I think it is really funny that my sweet little princess loves all things horror. As long as it isn't too scary. I did get one book in the mail that she made me hide because she didn't want to look at it.

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