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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters - Lenore Look, LeUyen Pham I wanted to read the 2013 installment in this series, but this digital copy of the 2009 book was available at the library for my Kobo. I expect the series is consistent, so I'll go with this one for now.

The three best things about this book: 1. Look doesn't 'cure' Alvin of his phobias; 2. She never gets him and Calvin in trouble for ordering hundreds of dollars of camping equipment with the dad's credit card--instead using it as the punch line at dad's expense at the end of the book; 3. LeUyen Pham's illustrations.

I've loved Pham's drawing since I read [b:Big Sister, Little Sister|112878|Big Sister, Little Sister|LeUyen Pham|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347624681s/112878.jpg|108686], and loved seeing her style in this comical chapter-book series.

The book held together nicely, but some of the writing of the characters was too cute or clever. Realistic fiction comedy always has a tough standard to walk up in Beverly Cleary, and this doesn't quite make it. Granted, Cleary's books work on realism + understatement while this book joins Junie B in being more about realism + exaggeration. Because it is operating on exaggeration, some of the comedy is a little too 'disney channel' and easy. Still, I would read it aloud to my kids either at home or at school, and it would make a fun road trip audio book (but bring a hard/digital copy along to see the illustrations!)