Tag: humor

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. […]

Elizabeth Bennett, Texas Style

Elizabeth Bennett, Texas Style

Lynn: Let’s face it: No one wrote a romantic plot better than Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice, my favorite, has had thousands of imitators, send-ups, and tributes over the years, but it’s still always fun to see a new interpretation. Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer’s The Season (2016) falls solidly in the tribute category, and their Texas-style P […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult

Book Trailer Thursday: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Do not be deceived: despite this video’s noncommittal charm, you definitely need to get your hands on a copy of Amy Schumer’s most recent success, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Gallery). As soon as possible. Since we don’t know anything about Schumer’s bank account (inferences aside, of course—fame pays, as they say), our heartfelt recommendation of […]

Posted in: Book Trailers
Booklist vs. Roald Dahl: Who’s Laughing Now?

Booklist vs. Roald Dahl: Who’s Laughing Now?

“Ghoulish, sordid, and the product of a depraved mind!” writes one reviewer. “I haven’t finished but I don’t like the effect,” opines another. Doesn’t sound very much like a recipe for success, does it? But those hot takes were among Booklist’s responses to Roald Dahl’s first two full-length works for children, James and the Giant […]