Category Archives: Humor

A Horse Named Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Horse Named Jack
by Linda Vander Heyden, illustrated by Petra Brown
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

A perfectly-rhymed, counting book about a mischievous, loveable horse named Jack, what could possibly be better for young readers?

“When Jack greets children on the farm,
he’s friendly, frisky—full of charm.”

Jack ventures out of his stall to learn about kittens, hay bales and carrots, only his neighbor doesn’t approve of him munching on her garden and ten tomatoes hurl his way!  Cherries, bees, a puddle of mud, make one dirty horse who returns to his barn.

Pure fun, pure joy, kids will delight in Jack’s mishaps and adventures.

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Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep

Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep
by Leslie Helakoski
Sterling Children’s Books, 2017

During a storm, eggs of owl and duck tumble away from their nests.  The mothers find their lost egg and return them to their nests, but there’s a mix up.  Owl is born with ducks and world is topsy turvy—and those ducks sleep all night!  Duck is born with owls and does not take to fur and bones for dinner!  Rendered in rich, bold, layered pastels on sanded paper the characters jump off the page.  Written in terse, rhyming verse it’s a delight to the ears.

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Izzy Gizmo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Izzy Gizmo
by Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Peachtree, 2017

A rhyming delight, we follow Izzy Gizmo through her imaginative inventions, some that work and some that don’t!  She gives up when one fizzles, until her Grandpa encourages her to try again.  Izzy thinks about it…until a crow falls and breaks his wing and she takes him to the vet.  The vet suggests she help the crow adjust to living on the ground. She invents all sorts of contraptions to keep the crow happy, but what the crow really wanted, was to fly.  Again, after a series of mishaps and almost giving up, she comes up with a way for the crow to fly.  Before you know it a long line of things needing mending appear and Izzy is happy.

Bright, splashy colors of gidgets and gadgets will fascinate young minds.

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Ducks Away!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ducks Away!
by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek
Scholastic Inc., 2018

Written for the earliest of readers, Ducks Away! Is a lyrical, nurturing book of a mother duck and her five ducklings—and a counting book, too!

Five little ducks waddle across a bridge when a gust of wind sweeps one into the river.  Mother Duck worries, “What should I do? Where should I go, with four on the bridge and one below?” She continues to worry, when another and another and eventually all five fall into the river.  Hesitant about jumping off the bridge, the little ducks encourage her to jump!

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Nerdy Birdy Tweets

Nerdy Birdy Tweets
by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Matt Davies
A Neal Porter Book, 2017

Young and old will delight in this story that works in humor, as well as real-life social media issues, on many levels.

Nerdy Birdy discovers a new online game (social media) called “Tweetster”. In a short time he has fifty new Tweetster friends.  The more excited Nerdy Birdy gets, the gloomy his best friend Vulture gets. Vulture reminds Nerdy Birdy he could eat him in one bite, but Nerdy Birdy is so attached to the game, he absently says, “Mm-Hm. That’s nice.”  Vulture left, and that’s when Nerdy Birdy started to miss his friend.  The next day Vulture surprised his friend with a tweet!  They tweeted together all morning. After lunch an embarrassing picture of Vulture appeared. Nerdy Birdy thought it was funny, but Vulture was so mad, he left.

This story is a delight to read and, if parents or teachers like, could open the door to discussions about social media and the value of “real” friends.  The illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, humorously features tiny Nerdy Birdy juxtaposed with humongous Vulture.

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Pet Dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Dad
Elanna Allen
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018

For every child who wants a pet—or another pet—this is the perfect book.

Plum wants a pet, but dad is firm that he doesn’t want a pet, so Plum does only what a little child can do, pretend his dad is her pet!  Her new pet loves to have its tummy rubbed and his ears scratched, but he refuses to roll over, eat her meals or be ‘paper-trained’ for his business.  Her pet just won’t do the tricks she wants, until she comes up with a new approach, that works every time!

Moving illustrations are done in muted colors and accented with Plum’s bright greens and blacks and bright orange for the “No’s.”  An imaginative, ‘what if dad were a pet’ story filled with humor.

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Rodeo Red

Rodeo Red
by Maripat Perkins, illustrated by Molly Idle
Peachtree Publishers, 2015

Take yourself out on the ranch with Rodeo Red.  This perfect read-aloud is fun-fun-fun to share.

Rodeo Red and her best friend Rusty were “happier than two buttons on a new shirt…until Sideswiping Slim showed up.” (baby brother) She knew right away he was trouble, but the Sheriff and her Deputy seemed smitten.  As the months wore on, Slim started moving into her territory and then he stole ole’ Rusty!  When she tried to remove Rusty from Slim’s clutches, Rodeo Red is the one to get into trouble!  Fortunately, City Slicker Aunt Sal sent a sissified simpleton (white stuffed cat) and Red knew she had her answer.

Red’s voice carries this story and combined with soft pastels showing lots of expression, this book will want to be read again and again.

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The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2017

If you’re a Mark Twain fan, you’ll love his newest book—yes, his newest!  An incomplete set of notes for a story were uncovered and Philp and Erin Stead were asked to complete the story and bring it to life.

Breaking all traditions, as only Mark Twain can, this 148-page picture book will take you on a meandering journey through a time long ago.  A young, unhappy, yet imaginative, boy, Johnny, sets out to sell his best friend, Pestilence and Famine (a chicken) as directed by his dreary grandfather.  It’s a two to three day walk to the nearest market where a lot can happen, and, with Twain at the helm of the story, it does.  A delight for the ears and the heart when Johnny saves the purloined Prince Oleomargarine and ends up transforming his own life.

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The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

by Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown and Company, 2017

Illustrated in clean, crisp drawings, we follow a little red cat who decides to go for a run.  But yikes! He runs into an alligator. Then a bear chases the alligator and cat.  Then a chicken follows them. They run through the entire alphabet, slipping on Ice, swinging through Jungles and all the way back to where he began in his bed, where he Yawns and sleeps (ZZZZ’s).  Clever, fun, imaginative; there’s ‘energy’ on each page. The drawings leave it up to the reader to discover each letter’s “word”, although words are given at the end.

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Whobert Whover, Owl Detective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whobert Whover, Owl Detective
by Jason Gallaher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels
Margaret K. Elderberry Books, 2017

A hilarious book where the words tell one story, while the graphics tell another!

Whobert Whover (so clever, for the adults) is on the case when he discovers possum lying awfully still.  He looks for clues.  He finds a feather and concludes Debbie the bird killed Possom.  Debbie tries to explain to Whobert, who did it, but Whobert Whover doesn’t exactly listen and looks for more clues.  A rollicking walk through the forest, where Whobert so busy he doesn’t even notice that Possom is up and running away.  Everyone, including the young readers, knows who done it—except Whobert!  The ending doubles readers over in laughter.

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