His younger brother's obsession with money and the discovery of long-lost cousins Flora and Fauna provide many embarrassing moments for twelve-year-old Peter.
"Gr. 4^-6. The Hatcher Clan, introduced in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972), appears in a fourth sequel. Written in the voice of Fudge's funny, long-suffering older brother Peter, the story begins as Fudge (Farley Hatcher) develops an obsession with money. When Fudge starts creating "Fudge Bucks," the worried Hatchers take a family trip to Washington, D.C., to show Fudge how money is really made. On the trip, the Hatchers run into long-lost Cousin Howie Hatcher from Honolulu and his eccentric family, which includes, much to Fudge's outrage, another Farley Drexel Hatcher, a "disaster" of a three-year-old whose manic energy mimics a younger Fudge's. Peter's patience is thoroughly tested when the Howie Hatchers arrive in New York unannounced and cram themselves into the family's cramped apartment for an extended visit. Money is a theme that is rare in contemporary children's literature for this age group, but after an interesting start, Blume leaves the subject undeveloped; once the colorful relatives enter the scene, Fudge forgets his fascination with the green stuff. Although this, along with several other slim plot threads, contributes to a chaotic, somewhat disjointed, whole, the jerky pace reinforces the sense of messy family confusion that many children will recognize. And, as usual, Blume's humor and pitch-perfect ear for sibling rivalry and family dynamics will have readers giggling with recognition. Newcomers and Fudge fans alike will savor this installment in the well-loved series. --Gillian Engberg"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Fans of Superfudge and Fudge-a-Mania will welcome the return of seventh-grader Peter Hatcher and his five-year-old brother, Fudge, who in this comical caper meet distant cousins from Hawaii. The two families unexpectedly encounter one another in Washington, D.C., where the New York City Hatchers have gone so that Fudge, who has developed an obsession with money, can visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Howie Hatcher clan proves an eccentric lot. Twins Fauna and Flora, unironicially nicknamed the Natural Beauties, would be in Peter's grade if they weren't home-schooled; apt to break into corny songs at any moment, they perform together as the Heavenly Hatchers. Their younger brother, who shares Fudge's real name (Farley Drexel), acts like a dog, growling and licking people. And their father won't stop calling Peter's dad "Tubby." Narrator Peter grits his teeth when the Honolulu Hatchers invite themselves to Manhattan to stay in his family's cramped apartment, where nestled in their sleeping bags on the living room floor they "slept flat on their backs, like a row of hot dogs in their rolls. All that was missing was the mustard and the relish." The boy is further appalled when the twins show up at his school and convene an assembly so that they can sing. Peter's wry reactions to the sometimes outsize goings-on, Fudge's inimitable antics and the characters' rousing repartee contribute to the sprightly clip of this cheerful read. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved