We just got 2 new juvenile fiction books by Jessica Harper. The first in the series is Uh-oh Cleo. The second is Uh-oh, Cleo, Underpants on my Head. They say you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but who ever said anything about its title? I went directly to the Underpants book. Given the success of all the Captain Underpants books that Dav Pilkey has written, I'd say kids will pick this up. Unlike Pilkey's books, this one is based on an event that took place in Jessica Harper's youth. At 60 pages, it's aimed at young readers, and Cleo, who tells the story, is an eight-year-old girl.
You know right from the beginning about the underpants thing. It starts like this: "Two things you hardly ever see are snow in summer and underpants on my head. But if you'd been on Mount Baldy last August 19th, you'd have seen both at once!"
And just to be sure you realize that this story really came from Jessica Harper's own childhood, the picture on the back flap gives you the chance to see a young Jessica and her brother wearing their spare underpants on their heads during a snowstorm. Yep, it looks like her dad really did take a picture.
Cleo and her family have several other adventures on their vacation from Illinois to Colorado, and the rest of them are typical family adventures. Well, typical if there are 6 kids in your family, with 3 of them being young enough to provide plenty of entertainment for all the rest of the airplane passengers.
Jessica Harper ends Cleo's account by having Cleo think of some other family adventures she could write about. This could be a way to get kids started on writing stories from their own adventures -- even if they have never worn underpants on their heads.