This will be a remarkably easy book to book talk, as the premise is genius and the delivery hilarious. It may also make some teachers break out in hivThis will be a remarkably easy book to book talk, as the premise is genius and the delivery hilarious. It may also make some teachers break out in hives (as defense of/encouragement for pranking is wont to do), but that will only spur more kids to pick it up - reluctant readers among them. This book will be a big hit in 2015! And I look forward to seeing where the Terrible Two take us in future installments......more
While there aren't half as many LOL moments here as there are in O'Malley's brilliant Scott Pilgrim series, I was highly entertained by this fantasticWhile there aren't half as many LOL moments here as there are in O'Malley's brilliant Scott Pilgrim series, I was highly entertained by this fantastical romp in which a 30-something chef attempts to undo her decisions, with disastrous consequences. The plot which feels fresh at first grows increasingly predictable, but flavored with O'Malley's wit, I didn't mind. To those of you who delight in a comic's finer details: Pay attention to the painting over Katie's bed....more
Really? Five stars? I'm giving this book five stars?? Indeed I am. Is it better than the other Invisible Inkling books, to which I gave each FOUR starReally? Five stars? I'm giving this book five stars?? Indeed I am. Is it better than the other Invisible Inkling books, to which I gave each FOUR stars? Errrrm... Yes. Maybe. I don't know. I liked those too. Possibly even five stars-worth.
Here's the deal: I read all three of these books at some point over the course of the last year, and I loved each one. But this last one? While I was reading it I got that warm, sappy "WOW, do I love this series" feeling, which is a rare and wonderful thing. I felt real concern (albeit entertained concern) for this weird, nerdy kid and his invisible pet Bandapat. Maybe it's because I'd already read two other books, and I was therefore "predisposed" to like this one more. Maybe I've just built up enough history with Hank and Inkling to care about them right out of the gate - I don't know.
But one particular passage of this book made me laugh out loud. On the subway. In front of other people. And when I read that same passage (pp. 26-27) out loud to a coworker who hadn't read ANY books in the series, it made HER laugh out loud too. Plus, the book is smart. WOW is it smart. It's smart and sensitive and funny and deeply understanding of kids' emotional needs and bewildering social dilemmas.
This is a book that touches on problems everyone has faced at some point in their lives. No, no, no! Not the "my dad owns an ice cream parlor and the lady with the ice cream whoopie pies is stealing his business" problem. Nor the "I have an invisible -- NOT imaginary! -- pet that no one can see and therefore can't know about" problem. I'm talking about "is this person a true, reliable friend or not?" problems. And "If they're NOT really a true, reliable friend, why do I want them to like me so much?" problems.
Most chapter books skate over territory like this, but not Emily Jenkins. She tackles them head on, AND with absurd humor, which is the perfect way to speak to the age group they're intended for (and to ME, apparently).
SO... YES! I am declaring the third book in the Invisible Inkling series to be worthy of five stars. If you read it and disagree, go back and read the first two, THEN read this one again -- see if having that experience changes your mind. If that doesn't do the trick, read the books aloud to a kid in your life. THAT, I predict, will make you a believer. (And to my mind it's the one litmus test that really matters!)...more
This charming and funny book is one of the most entertaining and least "treacly" tea party books I've read. Here, an adorable bear cub spies a table sThis charming and funny book is one of the most entertaining and least "treacly" tea party books I've read. Here, an adorable bear cub spies a table set up for a tea party, starts to beeline for the cookies, but stops when he sees a girl (the tea party hostess) approaching. Thinking quickly, he knocks her teddy bear off its chair, sits perfectly still, and takes it place. Noticing that he looks "grubby," the girl takes him into the house to prepare him for the party - spraying him with perfume, dressing him in fancy clothes - but does she realize he's not her teddy? Hmm... The reader will find out at the very entertaining finish! A delight!...more
Spot-on PERFECT. This book makes a TERRIFIC read-aloud! The rhythm is catchy, the rhymes are without flaw, and it is suspenseful! Funny! Exciting! PaiSpot-on PERFECT. This book makes a TERRIFIC read-aloud! The rhythm is catchy, the rhymes are without flaw, and it is suspenseful! Funny! Exciting! Pair it with Diary of a Worm + Wiggle and Waggle and you can quickly create the most entertaining earthworm study ever. Hip, hip, hooray for Superworm!...more
The world's friendliest doughnut is back and expanding his skinny-armed reach from picture books to chapter books! In this delightfully absurd, charmiThe world's friendliest doughnut is back and expanding his skinny-armed reach from picture books to chapter books! In this delightfully absurd, charmingly offbeat, fully illustrated mystery -- a "Who-Donut" -- Arnie attempts to figure out why Mr. Bing, an accomplished bowler, is rolling gutter balls during the big bowling championship. Kids seeking a straightforward, linear narrative may find this book challenging, as Arnie is a chatty, easily distracted host and the central plotline is almost secondary to his random asides, but that's part of the book's charm. You never quite know where Arnie is taking you, but his company is so good (and his jokes so adorably bad) that you're happy to sit back and enjoy the ride. Fans of silly jokes and witty wordplay and/or fans of quirky illustrated chapter books like Fashion Kitty, Bad Kitty, and Captain Underpants will devour this one. (SORRY, Arnie!! I meant your book! They'll devour your BOOK! Metaphorically!! *whew*)
Suspenseful and clever from start to finish, this is a terrific (and terrifically creepy) book that kids will devour and adults will adore. It's wittySuspenseful and clever from start to finish, this is a terrific (and terrifically creepy) book that kids will devour and adults will adore. It's witty, wonderful, and just scary enough to make you leave the lights on. I can't wait to read more of this series! ...more
The Washington Post called Dodger "compulsively readable," with which I'd wholeheartedly agree. This is no Nation (my favorite of the Pratchett booksThe Washington Post called Dodger "compulsively readable," with which I'd wholeheartedly agree. This is no Nation (my favorite of the Pratchett books I've read) but it is a delightful and delightfully rich romp as only Terry Pratchett could deliver.
Even when little was happening in the plot or during its (many) lengthy asides, the treat of just being in Dodger's company kept me thoroughly entertained and happily turning the pages.
I love the language (terrific slang!), the setting, and of course the energy that comes in waves off the Puck-ish Dodger, whose irrepressible spirit, plunk, gumption, charm, and guile are tempered by a truly good heart.
I enjoyed the fact that so many of the secondary characters are/were REAL people and hope readers will take the time to look them up and learn more about the work they accomplished or the roles they played in Britain's history.
The plot contained few surprises, and the only characters that truly came to life for me are Dodger and Solomon (who I loved). As a result I was never fully invested in Simplicity's story or Dodger's role in her rescue(s). (I cared only about her because she mattered to HIM.) And the same applies to almost all of the other characters. For me, the plot is not the thing that makes this book worth reading -- it's the protagonist. But that's fine with me! Dodger be the star of a story about paint drying, and I'd happily tune in.
Harper, PLEASE can we get better covers for Pratchett's books (in particular for this one + Nation)?? I'm so utterly bored by these flat, emotion-less depictions of characters in uninteresting landscapes. The U.K. cover of Dodger features a creepy-looking Dodger (who looks 35, not 17) which I dislike, but at least it nails the tone and setting - something the U.S. cover fails at completely. If you want to bring a new host of readers under Pratchett's spell, you have to give them some peek at the whimsy, imagination, and intrigue that come to life on the pages. These flat designs fail at the completely....more