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Literature / Cold Cereal

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What happens when you mix a bunch of kids, a bigfoot, a leprechaun, a pooka, a unicat, a fire-breathing bird, a pixie prince, a tiny Queen of England, a magical version of Britain, two goblins, a ghost, a movie star, a time-traveling Merlin with a robotic owl, a giant pink dragon, a secret cult, and an evil cereal company with plans to take over the world? You get Cold Cereal by Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday and the Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich series. In this book, kids Scott, Emily, Erno, and Polly, movie star John Doe, sasquatch Biggs, leprechaun Mick, pooka Harvey, ghost Haskoll, time-traveller Merle Lynn, and a whole lot more go up against the aforementioned evil cereal company. Hilarity Ensues.

Cold Cereal provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Excalibur (to be fair, it is magical). Also, the sword that John uses to pierce the skin of an ogre!
  • Always a Bigger Fish: A literal example. Prince Fi escapes being eaten by a fish, only to be eaten by an even bigger fish.
  • And I Must Scream: Prince Fi, after he is frozen from going through the Rift.
  • Big Bad: Nimue, The Lady of The Lake, up until the very end.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Goodco Cereals.
    • Puffties for Rice Krispies, and the Puffties Pixies (Chip, Sparkle, and Pip) for Snap, Crackle, and Pop.
    • KoKo Lumps for Coco Puffs, and Kookie the Coconut Vampire for Sonny.
    • Burlap Crisp for Lucky Charms, and Clover the Leprechaun for Lucky.
    • Honey-Frosted Snox for both Trix and Honey-Nut Cheerios, and The Snox Rabbit for The Trix Rabbit.
    • Peanut-Butter Clobbers for Reese's Puffs, and The Peanut Butter Queen for whoever the Reese's Puffs mascot would be if they had one.
    • Goodco itself for major cereal companies like General Mills.
    • The Freeman for the Freemasons (of course, the Freeman are evil, while the Freemasons are not generally known to be...
    • The only mentioned Goodco cereal without an obvious counterpart is probably Agent SuperCar.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Inverted; the impostor queen suspects John of not being an impostor, so she tricks him into revealing it.
  • Bound and Gagged: The goblins Pigg and Poke, after Emily ties them up.
  • The Cameo: Queen Elizabeth and Prince William (actually, Queen Elizabeth is more of a major character than a cameo).
  • The Cavalry: The rest of the team showing up in a poppadom truck when John, Fi, and Mickey need to escape from a very angry ogre (see Absurdly Sharp Blade, above).
  • Chekhov's Gun: The four-leaf clover that Mick gives Emily.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The adder in the basement of the house with the Rift in it.
  • The Day of Reckoning: The day when Nimue and the Goodco workers use a whale to bring the dragon Saxbriton into Antarctica.
  • The Dragon: A literal dragon, Saxbriton, is this to Nimue.
  • The Hero: Scott, Emily, Erno, Polly... Basically every main character that is not a villian has their moments of this.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Ghost! Haskoll saying that he doesn't like stories with too many characters (see below).
  • Mooks: The Goodco Workers for Nimue, and the Hairy Men for Morgan le Fay.
  • Shout-Out: Nutella is mentioned in the second book.