Category Archives: Humor

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
by Sean Taylor, Illustrated by Jean Jullien
Candlewick Press, 2015

This humorous mystery book keeps the pages turning!

Hoot Owl disguises himself in costumes to sneak up on his prey.  He is not deterred when the rabbit hops away from his carrot disguise.  He immediately locates his next victim and cleverly creates his next disguise.  But lo, his victims never end up in his tummy, until the last one!  This g rated ending provides a humorous, satisfying conclusion.

With creative descriptions, tension and repetitive phrases, young readers will want to read this clever story again and again.

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Eat Pete!

Eat Pete!
by Michael Rex
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018

The illustrations and words in Eat Pete! dance together beautifully as readers follow a suspenseful path. We open with a monster with a one-track mind to “Eat Pete!”  When Pete meets the monster, he offers to play cars with him.  The monster really wants to eat Pete, but decides to play car because he never has before.  The moment they are done with cars, Pete suggests they play pirates. The monster had never played pirates before and agrees, though he’d much rather eat Pete. Pete stays one step ahead of the monster, until the monster does eat Pete!  The clever twist is that the monster is bored and spits Pete up, until he decides to….  You’ll have to read the surprise ending in this classic suspense.

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Hannah’s Tall Oder, An A to Z Sandwich

Hannah’s Tall Oder, An A to Z Sandwich
by Linda Vander Heyden,
illustrated by Kayla Harren
Sleeping Bear Press, 2018

Add together a spunky girl, humor and rollicking rhyme and you’ll get a read-aloud delight in Hannah’s Tall Order!

Young Hanna walks into McDougal’s and orders a sandwich with 26 ingredients from A to Z—literally!

Green peppers,” said Hannah.  “Sliced thin, if you please. And drizzle on lots of sweet honey from bees.”

Extra humor is added in the illustrations, as Hannah’s monster sandwich grows and grows and the sandwich maker gets more and more frazzled as Hannah continues her list of items she wants included, and the other customers get more and more amazed and alarmed!

And this book even ends with the funniest twist—which I won’t share.  You must read this book to appreciate all its humor.  A guaranteed kid-pleaser.

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Hiznobyuti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiznobyuti 
by Claude Ponti
Archipelago Books, 2018
translated from the French

A fantasy story about Hiznobyuti (he’s no beauty), a young creature whose parents pushed him away because he was different.  But the creature had a great imagination and a yearning to be connected with his family despite their faults.  To survive his family, he befriended Martin Clock and lived beneath the kitchen sink.

Here is where his adventures began. He befriended elephants, witches and trees until he learned to communophone (connect with others) and also learned someone on another planet needed him. He and Martin Clock planted a mountain and climbed into outer space where he helped another planet.

When Hiznobyuti returned to earth, he found his home in ruins and his family in despair.  Nothing had gone right for them since they pushed away Hiznobyuti.  But everything got better when Hiznobyuti returned, (forgave his family) and helped them.

This story is rich with symbolism that speaks to its readers’ inner child.  Unlike most ‘thin’ stories published in America, this French story is thick with fantasy plot lines, compelling illustrations, and monster creatures–perfect to spark a child’s imagination and keep the pages turning.

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Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters 
by Rachel Kolar, illustrated by Roland Garrigue
Sleeping Bear Press

This brilliant collection of nursery rhymes for young Halloween readers will keep pages turning and laughter rolling.  In What Are Little Bats Made Of?, readers explore what little bats and little ghouls are made of.  Little imaginations will run wild in Mary Had a Little Ghost and run creepy in Zombie Miss Muffet.  But what happens in Sing a Song of Witches, when the blackbirds attack the witch?

Geared for the youngest readers, humor is woven in with the spooky, as in Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary:

Mary, Mary, tall and scary,
How does your graveyard grow?
With buried bones and carved gray stones
And little ghosts all in a row.

Illustrations are done in night darks and spooky purples to support the scary poem re-writes.  They often tell another story beyond the re-written one, as when the dog in Old Mother Hubbard hilariously runs away with arm and hand bones.

Those who love scary Halloweens will love Mother Ghost.

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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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