Day: February 1, 2017

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

the-bad-guys-by-aaron-blabey

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

This Australian import is the first in a fresh new illustrated chapter book series. Wolf has decided that he’s tired of being a bad guy so he recruits three fellow baddies to his new gang where they do good deeds. But it’s not so easy for Shark, Piranha and Snake to give up their own ways, like eating meat and people. Their first mission for good is to rescue a kitten stuck in a tree, but what kitten wants to climb down if they see those big teeth smiling at them? Their next job is to rescue 200 dogs from the dog pound. It involves Shark dressing up as a little girl, Wolf making a great shot, and Piranha and Snake showing the dogs the way out. But the plan doesn’t quite work out they way they want it too either.

This book has the pep and feel of a comic book, filled with large fonts that add attitude to the pages and lots of illustrations. In fact, because of its many illustrations it will be a welcome early book for new chapter book readers who will love the humor as well as the pictures that nicely break up the text. There is a great zany energy to the entire book with one joke leading nicely to the next. The pacing is cleverly done with just enough time to catch your breath from laughing before the action starts again.

Blabey’s illustrations are a large part of that manic charm. They are hugely funny. Emotions are shown broadly and wildly on characters’ faces. The shark barely fits into the car and not without a bump out for the dome of his head. There are incidents of eating one another and being bashed against walls. Each one is hilarious and children will love the slapstick comedy of it all.

A funny delight, this illustrated chapter book will have young readers begging for the next in the series. I know I can’t wait! Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from ARC received from Scholastic.

Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report

This is the sixth biannual Kids & Family Reading Report that Scholastic has created. The 2016 survey was done in conjunction with YouGov. The surveys focus on family attitudes and behaviors around recreational reading.

Here are some of the findings that struck me. You can read the entire report here.

  • Children who are frequent readers have 141 children’s books in their homes vs. 65 books for kids among infrequent readers’ homes.
  • Households with income less than $35K only have an average of 69 children’s books vs. 127 books for kids in households with income more than $100K.
  • When looking for children’s books to read for fun, both kids (37%) and parents (42%) “just want a good story,” and a similar percentage want books that make kids laugh.
  • Parents of Hispanic children are more likely than parents of non-Hispanic children to look for books with characters who are culturally or ethnically diverse
  • The majority of kids ages 6–17 agree “it is very important for their future to be a good reader”
  • Parents underestimate the degree to which children have trouble finding books they like.
  • Despite conventional wisdom, six in 10 children ages 6–17 agree “I really enjoy reading books over the summer”
  • One in five 12–17 year-olds and one in five kids in lower-income families do not read any books at all over the summer.