“Welcome to Wonderland – Beach Party Surf Monkey” by Chris Grabenstein is book number two of the series “Welcome to Wonderland”. P.T. Wilkie is the son of the creator of Wonderland and is in middle school. Wonderland is a motel that was opened a year before Walt Disney opened Disneyland.
The story begins with how he and his friend Gloria Ortega, who is a bit more of a serious, business oriented person, busted a bunch of thieves that were staying at the hotel and saved a crate of jewels that had been stolen. P.T. tells a false, yet really funny story about it.
P.T. and Gloria open a goofy attraction at Wonderland. It is a tour of the area where the burglars stayed, and included parts of the motel where all of the action happened. They also sold tons of souvenirs.
Eventually they meet A teen sensation, Aiden Tyler, who needed their help. Aiden is a bit spoiled rotten and tends to throw tantrums in public. They hid him from all of his fans and so he told them about how he was going to star in a movie and that the movie was looking for a location. They snuck in to the meeting and ran a spiel for the producers to try to get Wonderland into the movie. This was important because the next door neighbors to Wonderland was a fancy resort that was trying to get them to sell out. If they didn’t stay busy they would have no choice. The movie chose them! I won’t give away too much but there are lots of funny adventures to be heard. Including one about Kevin the monkey, who is a YouTube sensation, is really funny and is the star primate at a Primate Sanctuary. He is one of the actors in the movie. He does a bunch of tricks and something happens to him part way through the story.
I would recommend this book for kids ages 8-13. There are some words that 8 year olds may not understand, however the author clarifies what they mean. It was easy to read but is a slower read because there are a lot of details in it. The pictures are funny and are illustrated by Brooke Allen. There are just over 300 pages so it is a longer book.