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Under Water: Andrew Lost #5    by Judith E. Greenburg & Mike Reed order for
Under Water
by Judith E. Greenburg
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

'Good Golly, Miss Molly', ten-year old inventor Andrew Dubble is in trouble again, deep trouble -- he's headed for the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in Uncle Al's latest invention, the Water Bug. Uncle Al, a top-secret scientist, has converted an old Volkswagen Beetle into a submarine. This is no ordinary Water Bug -- it is equipped with special features like a glass floor, a kitchen and bathroom, a fin on the roof, gills on the doors, and paddle wheels in place of tires. Its 'Protectum' paint enables the vehicle to change colors for disguise, and it can talk! Accompanied by thirteen-year old cousin Judy, and THUDD (a.k.a. 'The Handy Ultra Digital Detective'), a very smart robot so small it fits into Andrew's pocket, the Water Bug speeds downward. When a control dial breaks, the submarine switches to autopilot.

The villain, Soggy Bob Sloggins, is building the biggest amusement park named 'Animal Universe'. One of the park booths displays a sign reading 'Soggy Bob's Giant Squidwiches'. While the accidental adventurous trio are in the ocean, Uncle Al tells them (via hologram) about Soggy Bob's plan to capture an enormous number of squid for his new business ... not to display the animals, but to use them on the menu. This isn't the first time that Soggy Bob has filled his own pockets with such nefarious schemes. Encountering bad guy Sloggins and partner robot Burpp in the ocean in a mechanical, giant metal crab ('The Crab-Mobile'), the heroes are saved by a hairpin and a dolphin named Nahu. However, their worries are not over yet, and trouble looms large when a big-mouthed whale approaches the Water Bug!

Judith E. Greenburg puts delightful phrases in the mouths of cast members, like 'Cheese Louise!', 'Neato mosquito!', and 'Elvis Presley on an English Muffin!' Her 'True Stuff' section provides information such as that, in the language of the people of the 50th state, Hawaii is spelled 'Hawai'i', and the Hawaiian language uses only 12 alphabet letters. 'Where To Find More Stuff' mentions book and video resources related to the underwater world. Mike Reed's illustrations (in black-outlined, grey tones) define the personalities' reactions, showing surprise or worry with uh oh! or oops! facial expressions. Additional volumes in this Stepping Stones Book series include Andrew Lost -- In Time, In The Deep, and In The Whale.

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