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The Mischievians    by William Joyce order for
by William Joyce
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Are things disappearing in your house? Are other odd things occurring for which there is no explanation? You might be dealing with a race of pesky creatures called mischievians. Using a question and answer format, Dr. Zooper, a mischievian expert, addresses the habits and quirks of these little known critters that love to eat finished homework assignments, create blisters on your feet, hide the TV remote, make things stick to your fingers and create songs that stick in your head.

Some of the probing questions you'll find answered in this book include: 'Why does no one ever admit that they used all the toilet paper?', 'Everybody in our house has, I dunno, at least six pairs of socks that are missing one sock! Where does that sock go?', and 'Sometimes there's a bad smell in our house. My mom blames it on my shoes. She blames it on our dog. She blames it on our dad. Are any of these things making the stink?'

The answer to that last question is quite enlightening. Dr. Zooper explains that a mischievian, called a Stinker, is the culprit. He writes, 'Every Stinker has a suitably stationed trumpet from which to emit his stink, and a dial to control the level and flavor of stink. Stinkers consume and store any bad smell they can find rotten eggs, soured baby formula, dirty diapers, or anything nasty you might have stepped in. Their collection of stink is endless.'

Of course, there are accompanying illustrations that indicate exactly what a Stinker looks like so you'll know one if and when you bump into one!

This important research tool will make young readers quite knowledgeable and very familiar with that secretive race of mischievians that make live so unpredictable and interesting. It is a wonder no one has written an informative guide like this before.

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