Saturday, February 5, 2011

Books of the Week – February 5, 2011

Here are our favorites from the past week (not counting Harry Potter and Ivy + Bean):

Tintin, age 8

Spider-Man: Everything You Read
Author/illustrator: Todd Dezago/Sanford Greene
Publisher: Spotlight (September 2010)
Source: ALA Midwinter/home library

In this graphic novel Spider-Man is reminded that he shouldn't believe everything he reads in the newspaper, especially since he himself hasn't always been portrayed correctly. He sets off to find a thief but is in for a surprise when he meets Dragon-Man. Tintin has always been pretty much indifferent to Spider-Man, but he likes this book. He read it twice, and he said he'll probably read it again.

Tintin's note: I like when there's a remote control and they press buttons to make the big purple robot act nice.

The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups
Author/illustrator: David Wisniewski
Publisher: HarperCollins (1998)
Source: Public library

The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups reveals to kids the real reasons behind those stupid adult rules, like "Eat your vegetables!" and "Don't blow bubbles in your milk!" They have nothing to do with health and cleanliness but instead come from secret never-before-shown-to-children files. Tintin thought it was funny, but unfortunately he still doesn't follow six of the eight rules.

Tintin's note: I liked when those people were in your heads and they're standing on your skulls and they have gum stuck to them to pull up the hairs so you go bald. So that's why you shouldn't eat gum.

Johnny Boo, age 5

Art & Max
Author/illustrator: David Wiesner
Publisher: Clarion Books (October 2010)
Source: Public library

Art & Max is about two artistic lizards, one serious and refined and one who is quite the opposite. When Art suggests that Max paint him, Max takes him literally and chaos ensues. We see Art, or Arthur as he prefers to be called, break out of his acrylic exterior in anger, turn to muted pastels, and then finally to a line drawing that unravels and must be put back together again. Max tries (hilariously) to fix Art and the book ends with a nod to pointillism and the paint-splashing of Jackson Pollock. This is now one of Johnny Boo's favorites. He loves everything about it – the story, the humor, the colors – and asked me to read it to him several times a day this past week.

Johnny Boo's note: I like Art & Max because it's good and ridiculous and preposterous. The funniest part is when Arthur paints the cactus plant.

Stoo Hample's Book of Bad Manners
Author/illustrator: Stoo Hample
Publisher: Candlewick Press (August 2006)
Source: Half Price Books/home library

Johnny Boo of course can't relate to this book, or at least that's what he told me, but he found it extremely funny anyway. It's full of ill-mannered kids and rhyming descriptions of their weaknesses, with funny illustrations to match. Johnny Boo especially likes reading the ongoing commentary of the illustrated Stoo Hample while I read the rest to him. And he really likes the end of the book, where there's a picture of a little boy mooning the reader.

Johnny Boo's note: It's so funny and it's preposterous and the bad manners are bad.

We're linking this post up with Feed Me Books Friday, Kid Konnection, and What My Child Is Reading.

Disclosure: We are an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you click on any links to Amazon in this post and purchase anything, we will earn a small commission through our relationship with Amazon.


Julie P. said...

I love the "preposterous" descriptions! Books look cute. My son would love the Spider man one!

LaDonna said...

We haven't read any of these. Thanks for the suggestions.

Raising a Happy Child said...

I have so many bad manners going on in the house right now that I am ready to pull my own hair out without any gum. I like boys' summaries. We read Art and Max, but Anna "didn't get" it at all.