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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Hollow Weenie is the second instalment of the hilarious children’s book series, The Tyler Files, written by Brian Rock and illustrated by Joshua Dawson. Worried about having a great act for the upcoming school talent show (thanks to his now-retired talking pants), Tyler wonders if his ventriloquism talents will be good enough. Meanwhile in science class, Tyler shows a moldy, month-old hot dog from the basement for his presentation, only to notice that the hot dog seems to be moving on its own. When the hot dog grows and crashes through the door of the school cafeteria screaming "FEED ME," Tyler does all he can to escape the hungry weenie while trying to keep his school crush, Audrey, safe from its clutches. Brainstorming, Tyler eventually takes a giant risk in trying to bring the monster weenie down before the talent show begins.
Brian Rock’s unique names for each of the teachers brought me to tears with laughter, as Mr. Beaker, Ms. Gruel, Mr. Hypotenuse and more witness the unbelievable antics of young Tyler and his huge weenie on the Friday before Hallowe’en. The title of the book led me to think on an adult level, before laughing as I quickly started to see the story through a child’s eyes. From monsters, bullies, mean-girls and judgmental teachers through to the quick-witted thinking of an unassuming hero, Hollow Weenie blends the perfect list of ingredients to create one of the most hilarious books I have read to date.
I found subtle similarities between Hollow Weenie and Little Shop of Horrors, both of which are top-shelf entertainment, and most definitely think Brian Rock’s second installment in The Tyler Files will get chins wagging in between a whole lot of smiles and laughter. The questionnaire and jokes at the end of the story bring it all together in a perfect snack-sized entertainment package, and I wholeheartedly recommend Hollow Weenie to readers aged 12 to 120, as the humor within the pages has no use-by date. I look forward to the third book in the series, as I place Hollow Weenie on the top shelf of my private collection at home, where all wonderful writing works reside.