Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

Bogus by Karla Oceanak and Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer

Published by Baliwick Press

Pages: 160

Ages: 8-13

Publishers Summary: Ten-year-old Aldo Zelnick had decided it’s OK to be a little artsy-fartsy. So when his grandma Goosy gives Aldo a second sketchbook, he fills it with more hand-drawn comics, fun B words, and accounts of his everyday adventures.

In Bogus, Aldo and his best friend, Jack, find a ring in the storm grate on their street. Convinced it’s a fake, Aldo goofs around with the ring and loses it—only to find out it was a real diamond with a $1,000 reward. Will Aldo, Jack, and Bee find the ring again and reap the reward…or will their archenemy, Tommy Geller?

“Back in March I had the wonderful opportunity of reviewing Artsy-Fartsy, the first in the Aldo Zelnick series, as well as feature both Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer in a guest post. All of this because I absolutely adore this new series of books! So, when my review copy of Bogus arrived a few weeks ago I couldn’t wait to read it and promptly finished it the next day.

“In this next chapter of Aldo’s life he’s made a huge discovery, but doesn’t realize it until it’s almost too late. As the story begins you’re taken on a journey through the mind of a typical ten year old. You meet his new comic book character ‘Bacon Boy’ along with his trustee side kick ‘Tormado’. Get extremely paranoid about the neighborhood bully, Tommy Geller. And make some amazing new discoveries by way of all things that start with the letter ‘B’. Just another day in the life of Aldo.

“As the story starts off Aldo is flashing back:

“Unfortunately, for Aldo, he didn’t get the message. He ends up losing a very valuable diamond ring that he and his best friend Jack found in the sewer drain. From that point on it’s nothing but comical as Aldo goes from throwing the ring in with his new fish to losing it with no trace left behind. As you can see from some of the illustrations below, it’s nothing if not absolutely hilarious.

“In an effort to make ‘a lot of money‘ Aldo decides to try his hand at comic strip writing. His first attempts revolve all around his number one love, food:

“Overall, the latest installment of the Aldo Zelnick series is just as good, if not better than the first. A perfect blend of entertainment and education. Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer have shown again that they know exactly how to reach kids in that often, awkward time of life between being a ‘kid’ and a teenager. Aldo is hilarious, but absolutely real, a kid you could almost imagine walking through your front door at any minute. His struggle to be active is something that almost every kid who reads this will be able to relate to.  Aldo is not a character you quickly forget and you’ll definitely be left wanting more when you’re done with this latest installment.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 8 and up. Get kids up and moving as well as learning about some fun new words through the eyes of someone very much like them. Perfect for boys looking for something a little more stimulating than comics.

For the Comments: What’s your favorite letter of the alphabet and why?

Make sure to take a look at my review of Artsy-Fartsy as well, you won’t want to miss this series! And look for the next installment, Cahoots due out at the end of the year.

This book was provided by the publisher, Baliwick Press, for review. Thank you!
Interior artwork provided and copyright protected by
Kendra Spanjer. Thank you!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with

7 Responses to Book Review: Bogus by Karla Oceanak and Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer

  1. OMG the cat bit was hysterical!

  2. Shelly Burns says:

    Loved Artsy Fartsy and can’t wait to read this one! I have a review copy just waiting to be read. Great review!

  3. NotNessie says:

    Looks interesting, though I’m not a huge fan of the artwork.

  4. […] left wanting more when you’re done with this latest installment.” – Danielle Smith, There’s a Book review blog “In Bogus, Aldo (somewhat reluctantly and very realistically) learns to put the […]

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