Tag: humor

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

  Last fall, to commemorate Roald Dahl’s hundredth birthday, the late author’s estate and publisher launched a year-long celebration of all things Dahl. (We celebrated by eating crow—to read all about how Booklist has slagged off Dahl’s writing over the years, click here.) In March, the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and others kicked off Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge—a contest that closes […]

The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

The Real Story from MRS. WHITE RABBIT

Lynn: Alice in Wonderland fans all remember the White Rabbit in his waistcoat, holding his pocket watch, and muttering about being late. Did you ever wonder what was actually going on?  Gilles Bachelet steps up to reveal the real story in Mrs. White Rabbit (2017), a shocking revelation of the facts behind the public figure. That’s […]

BOB, NOT BOB! A Head Cold Makes Us Laugh

BOB, NOT BOB! A Head Cold Makes Us Laugh

Lynn: I don’t know what it is like elsewhere but here in Michigan, EVERYONE seems to be sick! I’m just getting over a cold that I got from one of my grandsons, and every other person I meet is clutching wads of Kleenex to red noses. I couldn’t have found Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey […]

Calpurnia Tate for Younger Readers

Calpurnia Tate for Younger Readers

Cindy: Well, I’ll be skunked! When Lynn shared a copy of the first volume in Jacqueline Kelly’s new Calpurnia Tate: Girl Vet series. I was dubious. While I adore Kelly’s original stories, I fretted this new series, aimed at younger readers, would pale in comparison. I needn’t have worried—Skunked! is delightful. Callie Vee tells the story […]

Boring, Illinois is Anything But in THE MATCHSTICK CASTLE

Boring, Illinois is Anything But in THE MATCHSTICK CASTLE

Cindy: Hang on to your soccer ball and watch out for wild boars. . . have we got an adventure for you! Keir Graff’s new middle-grade novel, The Matchstick Castle (2017) is pure, wacky fun. [Editor’s note: Keir is both the executive editor of Booklist and the editor emeritus of The Booklist Reader.]  Protagonist Brian’s summer […]

Sensory Overload for the Toddler Set: Rachel Isadora’s I HEAR A PICKLE

Sensory Overload for the Toddler Set: Rachel Isadora’s I HEAR A PICKLE

Lynn: I have been hanging out with a three-year-old lately (the youngest member of our focus group), and he has reminded what an interesting age three is. He and his cohort are observant, experimental, energetic, and capable of surprising focus when something interests them. They’ve moved beyond board books and love picture books with well-demarcated illustrations, sound effects, […]

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Creepy, But Not Too: THE CREEPY CASE FILES OF MARGO MALOO

Lynn: Some kids just don’t like scary or creepy! A physically fearless six-year-old member of our focus group falls into this category; he markedly dislikes scary movies and scary books. So, on a recent visit, I was quite surprised to learn his first choice out of my ever-present book bag was The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo (2016) by Drew […]

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Cindy and Lynn: One of our favorite Thanksgiving books is Dav Pilkey’s Thanksgiving spin on the Clement Clarke Moore* poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (published in 1990, still in print 26 years later) looks at the holiday from the perspective of children on a school field trip to a farm. […]

How This Book Was Made

How This Book Was Made

Cindy: Metafiction for young children can be hit or miss, but Mac Barnett and Adam Rex have a solid hit with How This Book Was Made. They take a humorous look at the bookmaking process, from the inspiration, which can come at odd times (see the illustration of Barnett arm-wrestling a tiger) to the moment when the book […]

Alphabet Stories: Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!

Alphabet Stories: Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!

Lynn: Picture books are often a goldmine of freshly imaginative creative work, but alphabet books are especially fascinating to me. The alphabet is, after all, a very specific topic! How many ways can an ordered listing of letters be presented, anyway? I am always surprised and delighted at the different ways writers and illustrators play with this old standard. […]