The Splendid Baron Submarine
This exciting adventure is from the point of view of a boy named Waldo Baron, but he prefers to be called W.B. He and his parents are on a hunt for a treasure to prevent the country from running out of money. It is set over a hundred years ago, and there are things that they think are amazing but that seem pretty normal to us, like the horseless carriage and an underwater ship.
There are a lot of cool inventions. There is one that switches the gravity in the room so everything falls to the ceiling. There is also a Shrinking Machine, a Bigging Machine, and a Super-Grabber Device that all do exactly what they sound like. I like that there are so many inventions because I love them and want to build them when I grow up. People who like inventions will like this book.
There are ghosts in the book, but they are not scary at all. They are very, very funny. At one part, the ghosts are talking to each other, and they can’t figure out what to say because it wouldn’t make sense to be “living” somewhere, but it sounds weird to say they were “deading” there. Sometimes it’s also funny when W.B. talks to the ghosts. Everyone thinks he’s crazy because he’s the only one who can see them. His parents think there’s something wrong with his head, and when he says he’s fine, they ask him why he keeps arguing with himself.
There is a monkey, which they name Waldo after W.B.’s grandfather, that is very funny, and he is also a little rude. He does things like blowing raspberries and shaking his backside. Because of this, he is W.B.’s worst enemy throughout the book. W.B.’s father is very attached to Waldo, so he keeps making W.B. get up and give him his spot on the submarine couch.
The chapter titles are always the last sentence of that chapter. This kind of gives you a clue of how the chapter will end. There aren’t very many illustrations, but when there are pictures, they are usually cool. My favorite one is of Waldo the monkey wearing a pirate hat.
This is not the first book in the series. They talk about an adventure where W.B. defeats a famous bandit and one where they all go around the world. I think these adventures are in the first book, which I really want to read. Also, the book ends in a cliffhanger when he’s wondering what his father’s new invention, the Doppelgänger, might do. I can’t wait for the next book.
Eric Bower • Agnieszka Grochalska, Illustrator