Category Archives: Humor

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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Melvin the Mouth, Young Mel Blanc…before he was the Man of 1,000 Voices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melvin the Mouth, Young Mel Blanc…before he was the Man of 1,000 Voices
by Katherine Blanc, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
Charlesbridge, 2017

The words and illustrations take readers into the heart of a ‘sound’ genius, Mel Blanc, who, as an adult, created voices/sounds for 1500 movie/television characters.

Young Mel loves to create sounds to go along with the vivid characters he imagines.  Everything is BIG for Mel.  He Whooooooosh’s down the hall.  He captures kids with his Rrow! RROW!  Even, ‘garbage duty’ turns into a Zrroom-Zroom race car screeching around corners.  Readers will love all the trouble Mel gets into just being himself.  And they will love that the parents accept that someday Mel will use his ‘talent’ in some useful way when he grows up.  A supportive story for a child’s ‘gifts’.  Back matter includes background on Mel’s work as an adult. (Think Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble and 1,497 more!)

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Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale
by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Deborah Marcero
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017

Written in perfect rhyme, Twinderella is a rich spin off the original Cinderella.

The story claims Cinderella was a twin, and this tells the true story of the two sisters and what happened to the quiet twin. While being forced to care for their evil step-sisters, the twins had their own dreams.  When they were told they couldn’t go to the ball, God Mom appeared and changed things for them.  The prince danced with both and fell in love. When the glass slipper fit both the twins, he had to choose.  And so he did… you’ll have to find out how!

They titled it a ‘fractional’ tale because math and fractions fill the pages; math lovers will adore the story.  A fun read where they live, “happ’ly ever half-ter.”

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
by Gris Grimly
Orchard Books, 2017

Every child knows the song, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, but this book has a GREAT BIG surprise ending!  Author/artist Gris Grimly, raised on a farm and now lives in a city, decided to share his family’s version of this song with young readers.  His illustrations are fun, action-filled, and include several surprises and sub-stories to delight the visually alert readers, including a ‘heart’ patch on the farmer’s overalls. A great family story.

Back matter includes a brief history of the song—an early version sung during WWI—its music, as well as old-timey pictures of Gris Grimly’s farming family.

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The Pomegranate Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pomegranate Witch
by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Chronicle Books, 2017

This haunting tale of the Pomegranate Witch will be appreciated by adults as well as titillating for children.  Written in ‘dense’ rhyme, each word contributes to the story’s ambiance and action.

On the edge of town stood the spooky pomegranate tree where kids scared themselves with made-up tales, daring each other to grab the trees treasure.  Finally, five brave adventurers take on the task. Surprising them, the Pomegranate Witch challenges them to a duel, the next day, at noon.  While their second plan of attack, plan B, is in progress, their youngest member sneaks in a back gate and steals a treasure.  They won!  Then Kindly Lady, whose sister is the witch, or so she says…, invites them over for Halloween cheer.  The perfect tale for a late night scare.

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Here Comes Teacher Cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Comes Teacher Cat
by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017

There’s just something charming about Here Comes Teacher Cat.

Cat gets woken up to help out Ms. Melba, the Kitty School teacher, who goes away for the day.  Cat does not want to help.  Reluctantly he goes.  First he tries to get out of it.  When that doesn’t work he goes to the supply cabinet.  Using signs, he tells the class they will do music—until they become too loud. Then he decides to build a fish fountain, and the kids take over and build it.  Then he decides art is the next subject, and pour large tubs of paint and models how to get in one and paint the walls and floor.  But then Ms. Melba is about to return!  Told with minimal words, readers just wait for Cat to get in trouble.  Ink and color pencil drawings with lots of character make it fun to read the pictures.

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A Cat is Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cat is Better
by Linda Joy Singleton, illustrated by Jorge Martin
Little Bee Books, 2017

Readers meet ‘confident’ cat at the pet store when a young boy picks him up.  Cat knows he is the most perfect pet and gives the boy permission to take him home.  But wait!  The boy is getting a dog, too?!  The cat knows this is a big mistake.  Readers will laugh as the cat points out all his attributes and all the dog’s foibles, while insisting he is the perfect pet.  But lo, readers will also see the side of the cat that makes mistakes and concessions.  A well balanced, tongue-in-cheek funny story asserting cats are better than dogs.

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