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BookBrowse Reviews Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

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Hokey Pokey

by Jerry Spinelli

Hokey Pokey
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Jerry Spinelli uses the vibrant make-believe world of Hokey Pokey to shine a light on childhood's triumphs and tribulations.

The land of Hokey Pokey is unlike any other. It is inhabited by kids, only kids, not a grown-up in sight. Well, except for the Hokey Pokey man, who arrives daily, to dish out flavored ice to everyone.

Here, a first-day Newbie pops out of the Tattooer after having exchanged his diaper for a brand-new tattoo. He looks for the first Big Kid he can find and shows off the barely dry ink art on his belly. The pairing of the Newbie and the Big Kid is "instinct for the Newbie – duty for the Big Kid." Before the first day ends, the Big Kid must show the Newbie the ropes; he must impart the four rules of Hokey Pokey:

  1. Never pass a puddle without stomping in it.
  2. Never go to sleep until the last minute.
  3. Never go near Forbidden Hut.
  4. Never kiss a girl. (Or boy, depending on who the Newbie is).

Jack is the biggest of the Big Kids. He is known throughout Hokey Pokey – revered by...

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