Day: May 7, 2014

Review: The 26-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

26 story treehouse

The 26-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

This sequel to The 13-Story Treehouse tells the story of each of the main characters and how they all met.  Most of it’s even true!  But it’s not that straight forward either because emergencies keep happening, like the sharks in the treehouse’s shark pool eating Terry’s underpants and getting very sick.  Thank goodness that Jill can come over and try to have them feeling snappy again soon.  Then of course no story is complete without a villain and Captain Woodenhead, the evil pirate makes a great one.  Set aside your disbelief heading in, because this rollicking and very funny book will have you believing in plenty of nonsense by the end!

After the first book, I knew there would be more adventures of Terry and Andy, but I hadn’t expected double the number of floors on the treehouse!  This book is more of the merry adventures of Terry, Andy and Jill.  The flying cats return and many other favorites from the first book make an appearance, but this is a fresh story too, perfect for fans to get even more of the humor and silliness of the series. 

Looking for a new series for Wimpy Kid fans, this one has illustrations that break up the text, a similar amount of funniness, and plenty of gross outs too.  Appropriate for ages 8-12.

Reviewed from copy received from Feiwel & Friends.

Review: Eerie Dearies by Rebecca Chaperon

eerie dearies

Eerie Dearies: 26 Ways to Miss School by Rebecca Chaperon

Don’t expect your sunshiny ABC book here!  Instead you get to enter a creepy world where each letter of the alphabet is paired with a way to miss school.  Just to make sure you know what you are getting into, the book begins with A is for Astral Projection paired with a picture of a girl floating off the page.  The images are haunted and dark, yet with a quirky sense of humor as well.  The book goes on with the alphabet with C is for Contagious, K is for Kidnapping, and M is for Mononucleosis.  It all ends with Z is for Zombie Apocalypse. 

This book certainly is not for everyone.  But for those kids who enjoy a shiver along with their ABCs, this is a perfect picture book.  I was one of those strange kids myself and would have adored this picture book as a child.  The art is creepy, showing children without heads and clearly hearkening back to Edward Gorey and gothic horror.  Yet there is no blood on any of the pages, so it’s not graphic in any way.

This book will work well around Halloween, but thanks to its sense of humor will please haunted children throughout the year.  Appropriate for ages 6 and up.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Abuelo by Arthur Dorros

abuelo

Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raul Colon

A boy and his grandfather spend time together riding horses and camping.  They have adventures outdoors losing the trail and even facing a mountain lion.  His grandfather taught him to stand strong like a tree.  Then one day the boy moved with his family to the city, leaving his grandfather behind.  The city was very different.  The stars were hard to see, but they were the same stars.  The boy learned to use what his grandfather taught him in the countryside.  He even stood up to a bully on the first day of school, standing strong as a tree.

Told in graceful free verse, this book reads quickly rather like a brisk horseback ride.  Completely controlled and peppered with Spanish, the book evokes the freedom of the countryside and also the lessons of strength being taught across generations. 

Colon’s illustrations evoke the differences between the country and the city.  The open freedom of the countryside is contrasted against the constraints of the city, yet the sky ranges wide above both and there is freedom when riding your bike just as when riding your horse. 

Free verse mingles with the freedom of the range in this multi-generational title, a perfect masculine accompaniment to Dorros’ Abuela.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from HarperCollins.