Fizzopolis: The Trouble with Fuzzwonker Fizz
Harold Fuzzwonker wants nothing more than to go to work with his zany scientist father, the creator of Fuzzwonker Fizz, a soda that causes loud and lengthy burps. On his birthday, his wish is granted, and he descends into the depths of his father’s secret factory, discovering the Fizzies, monstrous little creatures of all shapes and sizes that assist his father’s work. But when a troublesome Fizzie named Floyd opts to join Harold at school, Harold will have to keep him secret at all costs.
Fizzopolis is the first book in a new series, and it’s as bubbly as you’d expect, given the subject matter; unfortunately, it’s as manic as a sugar-high toddler as well.
The story ricochets all over the place, ditching one antagonist for another partway through, bestowing best friend status on a character we know nothing about, and forcing us (and Harold) to chase around an obnoxious sidekick for far too long. I’m fine with goofy — heck, I’m overjoyed with goofy done right — but Fizzopolis takes shortcuts and then patches the cracks with filler.
The series has a lot of potential, but I hope it settles down and gives the narrative a bit more time to breathe.
Katherine Tegen Books
Patrick Carman • Brian Sheesley, Illustrator