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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer, by Davide Cali and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle, Raincoast. 2016. $17.99 ages 6 and up

"At just the right
moment, my uncle
passed by in his
latest invention.

Since it was
still experimental,
there were some

You know that on the first day back at school some teachers are going to be checking with their students about summer adventures. It can be a great way to open a conversation. This book is a warning that the teacher must be patient when listening to the answer provided. Students are occasionally long-winded, and have much to share.

Such is the case with the boy who is the narrator of Davide Cali's new cause-and-effect tale. One thing happens and that leads to a series of further adventures. It all begins with a visit to the beach, and a bottle with a message. Actually, it turns out to be a treasure map! The map is taken by a nosy magpie and results in a convoluted chase  ... to the harbor, onto a pirate ship, near capture by a giant squid, rescue by a submarine captain, movie making, return of the map, a failed balloon ride ... and so on. With a successful search completed, it is left to the young man to open the buried chest he finds where the X is marked on his map. What a strange, yet enjoyable, treasure it holds!

Clever, detailed illustrations accompany this fast-paced and funny adventure. A flashback to three months before provides the perfect surprise ending. If you were a fan of I Didn't Do My Homework Because ... (2014), you will be pleased to have this book on your shelf. Furthermore, I am sure you will eagerly await their next collaboration.

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