Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett by Tom Angleberger

I’m a big fan of the Origami Yoda books (as evidenced here and here and even though I haven’t reviewed it, I liked The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee too) so you know I was eager to read the latest entry as soon as it was released. And it was not disappointing.

Rather than write a traditional review outlining the plot, you know, without giving too much away, I’ll just say one quick thing and then get to the really cool stuff I loved. Jabba the Puppett continues the seventh grade adventures of Dwight, Tommy, Sara, Kellen, their friends and their Star Wars origami cohorts. And it’s really funny.

But what I really love is this stuff . . .

Believe it or not, I missed this one the first time through:

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When I read "Queen Origamidala," I laughed out loud. (And had no one near me to appreciate the humor.)

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That's some sandwich:

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Not sure if it was the whole idea of a "pizza boat" or the Death Star comparison, but funny nonetheless.

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Every rebellion needs a symbol.

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Were the students right with this comparison?

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Or this one?

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Can you see a seventh grader waving his hand in front of a teacher or something?

Even in middle school kids know rude when they hear it:

Where's your hope?

And finally, my unquestioned favorite from the book, especially when you know that "Kiss This Kiss," the worst song in the history of music, could be about half of the songs currently playing on the radio in real life.

Oh, and Soapy. Naughty little monkey.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Patrick Eats His Peas and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes

It’s good to know that literature imitates life. Or life imitates literature. Or is that art? Isn’t there a phrase something like that?

Whatever. I don’t know. But what I DO know is that on the day I got Patrick Eats His Peas and Other Stories - that very same day - THIS was cooking on the stove before dinner:

No kidding. “Little green balls of MUSHY POISON” as Patrick sings. My family heard everything around our own dinner table that Patrick tried at his. “I don’t like them,” and “I’m not hungry,” and “I’ll be sick.” There were attempts at bargains: “Could I eat just a few?” Peas were even hidden in napkins, just like Patrick.

There was one difference between our two families, however. While Patrick’s solution involved ketchup, jelly, and a good amount of stirring, the solution in our family was one Patrick simply could not use. “I’m the father, and if I don’t want to eat my peas, then that’s the way it is!”

Geisel Award winning author Geoffrey Hayes is back with a new book of short stories about Patrick, a follow up to Patrick in A Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Other Stories. In this latest installment, Patrick again shows what it’s like to be a kid. Try as he might to be a help to Dad, he just can’t seem to stay out of the way. Patrick’s bath time, which Mom won’t allow him to skip, of course, includes toys, splashing, “too hot,” more water, burbles, bubbles, and puddles. And bedtime includes all the reasons why it should NOT actually be bedtime according to Patrick. Just like kids everywhere.

Art imitates life. (I googled it.) And Patrick is an excellent mirror into the lives of the kids we know, kids who will love reading this new release from Toon Books.