The story opens with young Bernie Dingledorf trying to change his best friend I.Q. into someone cool. While the boys are at school strange things begin to happen. Many of the teachers start laughing uncontrollably and are hauled away in ambulances. Eventually, I.Q. falls victim to the laughing spells and his friend knows he must help him. Strange men come and capture Bernie, calling him Secret Agent Dingledorf, and he is now responsible to stop the evil Dr. Chuckles. Dr. Chuckles has invented a S.M.I.L.E.S machine. A contraption that targets smart people and makes them laugh uncontrollably. His goal is to make people laugh all the time, like he does.
Through all the silliness and fun there is a singular message of respecting and loving others for who God made them to be. Secret Agent Dingledorf learns that we don’t need to change our friends to be like ourselves, but allow them to be who God made them. This is true friendship.
Positives: As the mother of boys I appreciate this book and its appeal to the young males in my home.
Talking Points: This story will allow for wonderful discussion on friendships. Look at biblical friendships like that of David and Jonathan in I Sam. 18 and 20. Discuss from Dan. 1 and 3 how the friendship these 4 young men may have given them courage to go against the kings wishes and follow God. Talk about the Golden Rule in Matt. 7:12, how does this apply to friendships? Help your child examine if they are a good friend to others and how they can be a better friend using these Scriptures.