Cover image for Lenny and Mel
Lenny and Mel
Kraft, Erik.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2002]

Physical Description:
60 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Twin brothers observe a year's worth of holidays in some very unusual ways.
Reading Level:
710 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.2 1.0 58519.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.8 3 Quiz: 33625 Guided reading level: N.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Easy Fiction

On Order



Lenny and Mel know that if Thanksgiving leftovers are put under a pillow, the leftover fairy will bring money. They also know that to make a good impression on Santa, a good cheese display is needed. In the tradition of Captain Underpants comes a duo who put their own wildly comical stamp on holiday fun. Illustrations.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4. This episodic chapter book takes twins Lenny and Mel through the school year, holiday by holiday. The Thanksgiving story takes place in the week following the holiday. Sick of turkey soup, pot pies, tetrazzini, pizza, pitas, and frappes, they leave all the leftovers under Mel's pillow for the Leftover Fairy. Though they never receive the expected compensation (a dollar per pound, according to Fast Eddie in Mel's gym class), two days later their mother discovers the ants and rewards them anyway: "No more turkey for you kids until next Thanksgiving." Readers who tune in to Kraft's offbeat humor will find the two rather feckless boys as recognizable as their own classmates (or themselves) and twice as funny. The cartoonlike line drawings that appear throughout the text look as though they might have been drawn by Lenny and Mel. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kraft's (Chocolatina) spirited if uneven tale introduces impish twins who concoct their own zany holiday celebrations. In a chapter about Halloween, Lenny pastes candy wrappers all over himself and goes trick-or-treating as the floor of a movie theater, but a neighbor who misses these subtleties labels Lenny "Trash Day." The description of a New Year's Eve spent trying to stay awake to watch the ball drop in Times Square lacks zing. But readers will chuckle when the twins, tired of eating leftovers after Thanksgiving, stuff the remaining turkey under Mel's pillow so that the Leftover Fairy (who sails through the air in his gravy boat) will take it and leave them cash. On Christmas Eve, deciding that Santa is a vegetarian ("That way, the reindeer don't think he's going to eat them"), the two leave him a snack of a block of cheese decorated with lights and twigs from the tree, which Santa decides to use as a sled ornament. This light caper will hit third-graders' sense of humor dead on, but it's likely to tickle the funny bones of kids more apt to be found plotting a prank than reading a book. Kraft's deadpan cartoon-panel drawings, however, may well get even nonreaders in on the laughs. Ages 7-10. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Similar to Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series and "Ricky Ricotta" books (all Scholastic) in its zaniness, this title will meet the need for more funny books. In nine episodes, Lenny and Mel experience the American holidays in less than typical fashion. From the "Leftover Fairy" who is supposed to exchange all that extra Thanksgiving turkey for cash to the Presidents' Day assignments when the boys spend so much time on the papier-mch heads that they forget to prepare the oral report, this title offers a unique approach to celebrating. "Presidents' Day is the day for presidents.-There are a lot of sales on this day." Small line drawings that look as if an eight-year-old drew them add to the fun. There are moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity. There are also a couple of episodes that fall a couple fries short of a Happy Meal, and there's lots of room for improvement in the characterization department. Only the CIP indicates that the boys are twins, and readers may wonder why they are in the same class at school. Still, these light, comic adventures will find a ready audience.-Sharon R. Pearce, Geronimo Public School, OK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.