Now, everyone likes and some even love Artur Paschkov. Even Nate, who thinks he's second in the biggest suck-up list, Gina in #1. Nate decided to join the Timber Scouts a little while back because a) his friends finally convinced him and b) Teddy's fun dad is the leader. Now Artur is in the scouts and everyone but Nate finds this good news. This is one of those stories that doesn't necessarily have a bad guy: Nate simply has a goal to win something that Artur wants just as much. And Artur already has everything: the girl, the good grades, the luck, and everyone likes him. And Nate certainly wants to win the grand prize for selling these hideous ugly wall hangings after his last one got lost, more or less because of Artur.
It's clear that Artur is a great guy, but he simply doesn't understand the world around him well. He bakes Nate brownies to be a friend, and for Nate, it's hard to tell if it's to be friendly or rub in his selling score. So what's the difference between a kid's book that's thumbs up and one that's thumbs down to me? It's down if it spends too much time being a painfest only to fulfill it's requirement in the end which it may not always do, or resorts to body function jokes, which this book doesn't really do. It gets thumbs up usually if it tries to be clever and have energy. Also, if Nate hides under Mrs. Godfrey's desk, I wouldn't want him getting caught. Anyway, when I look back on it, this Big Nate outing has a lot of clever ideas about being an entrepreneur, such as how to make wall hangings cool such as selling them where people are around to notice them, and a way to beat Artur that is very clever for a kid's movie, and I'm still giggling about the idea of someone saying, "Listen up, folks!" on the intercom. I just wish it was a little bit more enjoyable.
And a note: I don't keep up, but it seems that after a new Big Nate book gets published, an activity book goes in stores too, and I've flipped through some of them, and I wouldn't buy them, because the new one will be around the corner and you may just end up shelving them.