A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that bestselling comic author/illustrator Adam Rex is in good form in the wacky, chaotic Champions of Breakfast, the final installment in the Cold Cereal Saga. Here the intrepid Doe family (dad John, aka Sir Reggie Dwight; 11-year-old Scott; and bratty but resourceful little sister Polly) and their friends are locked in cosmic struggle with the vengeful spirit Nimue, who plans to take over the world by turning loose the dragon Saxbriton. Along the way there's a raft of wisecracks by the author and the characters, as well as endless bits of trivia about science, literature, and pop culture. Some of the wisecracks, such as riffs on the subject of "fairies," include mild innuendo that will go over the heads of younger kids and crack up older ones. Very occasional rude language, such as "crap."
What's the story?
As CHAMPIONS OF BREAKFAST picks up after the world-splitting conclusion of Unlucky Charms, Scott, Polly (now the size of an action figure), their knightly dad, John, and their motley entourage that includes a wizard, a leprechaun, and four pixie princes, are in the fairy world of Pretannia. They're trying to avert planetary doom by rescuing the kidnapped Queen Elizabeth (now two feet tall) and slaying the pink dragon Saxbriton. Meanwhile, Nimue and her nefarious crew are trying to take over the human world by bringing Saxbriton through the cosmic rift to wreak havoc, while Erno and Emily try to foil her -- and stay alive.
Is it any good?
Author/illustrator Adam Rex's bestsellers are known for their wacky humor and madcap onslaught of kitchen-sink plot developments, and Champions of Breakfast follows in that tradition. Anyone who attempts to make sense of it without reading the first two volumes is almost certainly doomed to early bewilderment. There's a steady barrage of multiple locations, magical characters, and strange cosmology. This being the third volume of the trilogy, the plot threads are in a chaotic tangle, but it's impressive to see how well Rex manages to sort it all out. Some readers will be more satisfied than others with the resolution, but they'll all be well entertained along the way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about adventure stories that are both scary and funny. Do you think it works to mix things up that way, or would you rather keep humor and adventure separate?
Have you encountered some of these characters before (such as Merlin from the King Arthur stories or Titania from Shakespeare)? How are they different here? Why do you think that might be?
Why do you think stories about evil conspiracies to destroy the world are so popular?
- Author: Adam Rex
- Illustrator: Adam Rex
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: February 11, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.