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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Principal Mikey is a wild, bright and highly amusing book for children written by author Derek Taylor Kent and illustrated by Paul Louis Smith. Intended for middle-grade readers of seven to twelve years old, this fast-paced chapter book follows our hero Mikey McKenzie, a scientific boffin who, at ten years old, feels his genius ought to be taken more seriously by those around him. Mikey gets his chance when the madcap Principal Walker allows him to run the whole school, but our little scientist might have bitten off more than he can chew. He’ll have to use all of his problem-solving skills to pull off this new job and keep his relationships and his own emotions in check too.
The hidden curriculum of S.T.E.A.M. values within this chapter book really adds an extra dimension of educational value to what is already a highly engaging and enjoyable read. Author Derek Taylor Kent writes with flowing prose that suits the age range, throwing in some complex vocabulary for learning value whilst also keeping a lot of silly fun going on in every page. The illustrations by Paul Louis Smith harken back to a classic animation era, giving a great sense of personality to the characters before you’ve even met them, as well as plenty of slapstick comedic value. The themes of championing the nerdy bookworm are sure to be well received by young readers, but Mikey is also a relatable hero with plenty of flaws and problems in his way. Overall, Principal Mikey is a superb chapter book that comes highly recommended.