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It looks like trouble when the principal asks Arthur to take home a large envelope marked "confidential".
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Marc Brown is the creator of the bestselling Arthur Adventure book series and creative producer of the number-one children's PBS television series, Arthur. He has also created a second book series featuring D.W., Arthur's little sister, as well as numerous other books for children. Marc Brown lives with his family in Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard.
K-Gr 3--These two titles are part of a series of chapter-book novelizations of PBS's Arthur episodes. Even though the covers proclaim "A Marc Brown Arthur" and show a photograph of Brown on the jackets, the books themselves have been written by someone else, and are based on teleplays created by yet other authors. The texts are interspersed with black-and-white illustrations. Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club deals with an unusual theme for primary-grade audiences--censorship. Angry parents have demanded that a series of scary books be banned from the public library because they believe they are frightening their children, and Arthur and his friends decide to fight back. Arthur's Mystery Envelope concerns the young aardvark's curiosity and anxiety when the principal gives him an envelope to take home marked "PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL." His desire to be honest is tempered by his fear of negative consequences as he wrestles with the dilemma of whether to deliver the envelope or to "lose" it. The reading level of these books is problematic: the vocabulary exceeds that of average third graders, yet the audience of the Arthur show is usually much younger. They could be used as read-alouds, and would undoubtedly appeal to children who watch the program and to precocious younger readers.
Linda W. Tilden, Cherry Hill Library, NJ
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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