Kyle Mahoney – When I read the first Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet book I couldn’t wait for the continuing adventure of Danvers Blickensderfer. Luckily my prayers were answered on May 15th when Disney and Kirk Scroggs released Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet: Clash of the Clowns. Scroggs took the wit and artistic charm of the first book and improved on it with the second installment of the Sixth-Grade Muppet series. Later this year the third installment, The Good, The Bad, and The Fuzzy will be released as well.
The story takes place an unknown amount of time after the first book, but within the same year (considering it isn’t called Tales of a Seventh-Grade Muppet) with Danvers enjoying life as a Muppet, helping Gonzo, and singing for the Muppet-filled boy band Mon Swoon. Everything is great, until a new kid comes to Coldrain Middle School and makes Danvers, Pasquale, and Kip (the lead singer of Emo Shun) the butt of all his jokes. This young man is Phips Terlington (does anyone have a normal name in this book?) and for some reason he really bothers Danvers, he bothers him so much that he and Kip start an Emo Shun/Mon Swoon collaboration band (because… that will help?).
Danvers later becomes a student of the Muppet Masters of Comedy after challenging Phips to a comedy jam and realizing that he’s not funny. Danvers learns the art of the pun from Rowlf the Dog, the art of the heckle from Statler and Waldorf, and the art of being weird from Pepe the King Prawn. Pasquale also becomes obsessed with “Angry Chickens” (a parody of Angry Birds) which features hurling Gonzo in a chicken suit at the members of Mon Swoon. Somehow in the middle of it all (I’m not gonna spoil how), Danvers and the rest of the Muppets must fight off a hoard of joke telling zombies.
The book has the same general format of the first book with Danvers telling the story along with his illustrations helping the story along and adding dialogue. Once again focusing on Scroggs’ original characters and using the Muppets as supporting characters. The illustrations include visual gags and even an appearance by Walter! Pepe’s dialogue is semi-annoying to read when he has a big part in the story. (Reading all those “okays” can really get on your nerves, okay?) The story also has connective tissue to the first book, mostly because Danvers is still looking for the origin of his “Muppetmorphosis.” It also gives a small bit of insight into the next book Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet: The Good, The Bad, and The Fuzzy.
Kirk Scroggs truly has the Muppet sense of humor when coming up with the many jokes for all the characters. He knows exactly what he’s doing in regards to honoring The Muppets and, at the same time, creating a world all his own. One aspect of the story that I really enjoy is how Danvers wonders why the Muppets have randomly appeared in his city around the same time as his Muppetmorphosis. I wonder if there is a connection between the two. I guess we’ll have to wait until the next book. But I give Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet: Clash of the Class Clowns two flailing Kermit Arms Up!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org