Reviewed with Bill Myers' The Case of the Giggling Geeks
Gr. 2-4. These slim titles borrow the Captain Underpants formula of nonsense, gross-out humor, nonstop action, and kid heroics. Elementary-schooler Bernie, aka Secret Agent Dingledorf, has been chosen by a secret organization to fight crimes. In Chewable Worms, villains have convinced the world that worms are irresistibly tasty, and suddenly the planet is overrun with crawly creatures. In Giggling Geeks, evil Dr. Chuckles tries to sap the planet's most intelligent population by letting loose a virus of unstoppable giggles that afflicts people with high IQs. The flimsy, silly plots are backed up with even sillier details (Bernie receives messages from his beeping underwear and meets with his agency supervisor in toilet bowls), and there's a less-than-evolved approach to gender (in Worms, "Dad always grunts. With three daughters yakking away all the time, that's the only sound he can squeeze in"). But kids will like the action and wild laughs, and they'll likely forgive the heavy messages to respect individuality and to help others. Lively black-and-white drawings add to the humor and appeal. Gillian Engberg
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About the Author
Bill Myers is the author of the humorously imaginative The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle series, which currently numbers 25 episodes and over 1.8 million units sold. Bill's latest works include the creation of a brand new secret agent series for early readers, Secret Agent Dingledorf. He is also the creator and writer of the McGee & Me! video series. Bill is a director as well as a writer, and his films have won over forty national and international awards. He has written more than 50 books for kids, teens, and adults. Bill lives with his wife and two daughters in Southern California.