“Welcome to Wonderland: Beach Battle Blowout,” by Chris Grabenstein, will excite readers from the first page to the last. This funny and action-packed book is sure to make people laugh and gasp in suspense at the same time. Adding on to the series, New York Times bestselling author of “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” spins a story that, of course, has a beginning, a middle — and a twist.
P.T. Wilkie and his business-wiz friend Gloria Ortega make a really good team. As P.T. likes to say, Gloria is the “sizzle to his steak.” P.T.’s grandpa, who is the owner of the Wonderland Motel, finds out that all of the bigger attractions like Disney World are not going to be in this year’s Florida Fun in the Sun competition, so the smaller attractions have a chance to win the title of the hottest family attraction. The Wonderland Motel will have to get ready!
After P.T. and Gloria see a new attraction called the Fun Castle, which has all sorts of cool things like a Mega Mini Golf Course, they decide they need to up their game. P.T.’s grandpa comes up with the idea of having theme rooms, like the Banana Cream Pie room, which is decorated like a banana cream pie. Also, P.T. has the idea to create a Frolf course, Frisbee Golf, for families to enjoy. Gloria invests some money in the stock market in order to help pay for these new ideas.
P.T. is also trying to figure out who their mystery shopper is. This is a person who checks in as a regular guest but actually works for the Florida Fun in the Sun organization and influences the motel’s rankings. With all their preparations for the judges, will The Wonderland Motel be able to beat the others?
This book is great for third and fourth graders, but will be enjoyed by other readers who like stories with action and lots and lots of humor. Students who read this independently in class will have to exercise self-discipline to contain their laughter. If you are looking for a funny book, this is a perfect fit for you.
Once again, Grabenstein wows the reader with this spectacular story. With its completely exaggerated pictures and plot, it is simply irresistible. This book is sure to be a wonderful hit in the series. It shows the work you have to put in to accomplish your goals. The lessons are: Even if there are ups and downs, you still have to focus on your goal, and sometimes you may have to improvise.
Reviewed by Jamie L.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Random House Books for Young Readers, the publisher, for review purposes.