I did just that. I judged Dirty Bertie GERMS! by Alan MacDonald by its cover. I picked it because for two reasons; I need more boy characters/books in my classroom library and the front cover looked gross-ish. Bertie isn't very cute. He looks a bit of a mess and there appears to be mucus spraying everywhere! I expected Bertie to be a silly story about silly things appealing to boys.
I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. The story begins with a realistic situation. His sister gets the chicken pox and he tries desperately to get the same germ so he can stay home from school. His attempts are cute and funny. When I finished chapter four, I discovered the next chapter was chapter one. I had to do some further investigation to discover there are three stories about four chapters each within this book. A huge win for my student's who need shorter books to help them comprehend and transition to longer text! The second story is a charming story of how Bertie becomes his grandma's dance partner in a contest and how they hope to win. The third story is about an evening he spends with a new boy babysitter. Let's just say it wasn't his typical babysitter experience.
An avid reader in my room was telling me about the second book during a reading conference last week and couldn't stop gushing about how much he liked the book. We did some investigating and found out there are 27 Dirty Bertie books! After reading this first one I found a great deal to get all 27 books and they are on our way to our classroom. Dirty Bertie might appear a little messy but he's full of charm, laughter, and good things for second grade readers!