The Pudding Problem

Book #1 of Lyttle Lies
Illustrated by Joe Berger
LIST PRICE $13.99
PRICE MAY VARY BY RETAILER

About The Book

A boy must untangle the web of lies he’s created in order to prove his innocence in this humorous and cheeky illustrated middle grade novel that’s perfect for “fans of Timmy Failure and Big Nate” (Kirkus Reviews).

Sam Lyttle is prone to stretching the truth. Most of his lies are harmless; tall tales and the product of an overactive imagination. So when Sam is summoned to explain a strange discovery—a ping-pong ball in a jar of peanut butter—and denies involvement, no one believes him. Then more seemingly unrelated peculiarities emerge, and Sam categorically denies any knowledge of those, too.

In between these mysterious accusations, and with evidence mounting against him, Sam ruminates on the different sorts of lies he has told using examples from his past. Meanwhile, two pounds of potatoes wind up in the washing machine.

Sam comes to a decision: he decides it is time to come clean about this latest tangled web. He gathers his family to hear the truth. The whole truth. Or is it? Could it be that this final “truth” is, in fact, another lie?

Excerpt

The Pudding Problem FRIDAY, 4:00 P.M., THE DEN
The Den.



Designed to blend in with the natural surroundings of my bedroom. It may not look like much from the outside, but appearances can be deceptive. Inside it’s custom-engineered for maximum quietness, relaxation, and alone time.

Only authorized personnel are allowed within its hallowed walls—those issued with a personal ID card.



The Den is the perfect place to escape the many stresses and strains imposed on the modern nine-year-old. I’m not talking about the more extreme problems that occasionally crop up. Like the time aliens attacked our town and abducted practically everyone . . .



. . . until I discovered the invaders were allergic to cucumbers and single-handedly saved the day with a cardboard tube and a jar of out-of-date pickles.

Or the time a sinkhole opened up in the middle of an assembly, right under the first graders . . .



. . . and I had to be lowered down on a rope to rescue them all, because the principal was crying in the corner. (He’s not a fan of sinkholes.)



No, the kinds of stresses I’m talking about are your typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill-type concerns:

Big sisters who are sooo superior and annoyingly good at everything that it makes you look kind of like garbage in comparison.



Moms who think math homework is the sole purpose of being a child. . . .

About The Author

Photo (c) 2016 by Henning Loehlein

Joe Berger is the author and illustrator of the Bridget Fidget books, has illustrated seven other picture books including the new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang novels by Frank Cottrell Boyce, and has a long-running cartoon series in The Guardian, as well as TV animation projects. Visit Joe online at JoeBerger.co.uk.

About The Illustrator

Photo (c) 2016 by Henning Loehlein

Joe Berger is the author and illustrator of the Bridget Fidget books, has illustrated seven other picture books including the new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang novels by Frank Cottrell Boyce, and has a long-running cartoon series in The Guardian, as well as TV animation projects. Visit Joe online at JoeBerger.co.uk.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 9, 2017)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481470834
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12
  • Lexile ® 620L
  • Fountas & Pinnell™ U

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Raves and Reviews

"The truth behind Sam's complex lies is as much fun as the philosophical calisthenics he does to justify his falsehoods. Berger's black-and-white comics and illustrations advance the silly plot nicely...Further reading for fans of Timmy Failure and Big Nate." 

– Kirkus Reviews

"Berger’s angular, caricaturelike cartoons enliven the already comical tale and play up Sam’s exaggerated perspective nicely. Despite his tendency to stretch the truth, amiable, secretly sweet-natured Sam is easy to root for. Straddling the line between illustrated novel and graphic novel, this series starter will easily appeal to fans of Wimpy Kid or Star Wars: Jedi Academy."

– Booklist

“A silly, slice-of-life tale with plenty of action and lots of (mildly gross) humor….the charming protagonist, who often falls flat on his face despite good intentions, makes this series entry stand out. VERDICT Fans of Lincoln Peirce’s “Big Nate” and Stephan Pastis’s “Timmy Failure” will adore this title.”  

– School Library Journal

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More books from this author: Joe Berger

More books in this series: Lyttle Lies