978-0-689-83790-6 / 9780689837906

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About the book:

There is only one way to keep from turning into a werewolf, and that is with the help of a magic pretzel. This seems simple enough--unless the only magic pretzel on earth happens to be kept by your half brother Lance Von Sweeny in a special, burglar-proof case in the Museum of the Pretzel on Nemo Boulevard. This is the predicament of Mr. Talbot, beloved (yet weird and scary) teacher, half-man, half-wolf, and sponsor of the Watson Elementary School Werewolf Club.

Norman Gnormal is the only nonwerewolf in the club, but the others let him in because his parents actually wanted a dog instead of a little boy and raised him accordingly. Although Norman (alias "Poodle Boy" or "Alpo-breath") is mocked for growling and keeping meat in his desk, his canine sense of smell and expert tracking skills serve him well in the search for the elusive, parsnip-driving Lance Von Sweeny and the desired magic pretzel. Of course, nothing turns out as expected in Daniel Pinkwater's delightfully absurd, absurdly delightful first installment in The Werewolf Club series of short chapter books.

Jill Pinkwater's pen-and-ink illustrations suit the story's comic buoyancy and contribute to the airy, easy-to-read format. If your children are new to Pinkwater, it's as crucial as a magic pretzel to a reluctant werewolf that you introduce them to The Hoboken Chicken Emergency and when they're ready, his collection of classics, 5 Novels. Move over, Captain Underpants, and make way for The Werewolf Club. Awoooooo! (Ages 7 to 10) --Karin Snelson

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