Today I thought I’d revisit 3 funny picture books that Max and I enjoyed so much in his early primary school days. Max is a teenager in high school now, but has agreed to join me. Hi Maxy, How was school today?
‘Alright.’ (Inaudible mumble)
What did you do?
Did you learn anything?
Did you have sport?
How did you go?
Max Williams, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Now Max, I’ve made a quick list of 3 funny books and I thought we could review them together. You ready?
Great, ‘cause this first book will quench your appetite.
by Robert Munsch, Scholastic Canada Ltd. 2002, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Robert Munsch is my absolute favourite storyteller. And this is one that I must’ve read to you a hundred times.
‘I remember. Plus, I took it to school once and the teacher read it to the class.’
Did they like it?
Do you remember what it’s about?
‘When Samuel wakes up he is super hungry. He runs down stairs and eats his breakfast really fast, Chuka-chuka-chuka-chomp. But he’s still hungry. When his mum refuses to cook him seven fried chickens he needs another plan. So he enters a pie eating contest. He takes on a big lumberjack, a construction worker and a fireman. The result is funny as.’
‘That’s what I said.’
Another joy of this book are the illustrations, a typical Martchenko.
‘Yeah, I loved his illustrations, I sent him a letter when I was little.’
Yeah, I forgot to mail it.
The great thing about Martchenko is his ability to add his own humour behind the story without interfering with the author’s work. You can read this book over and over and see something different each time, just adding to the joy of this fun story. I score it 4 tacos. Max, what about you?
‘I give it 5.’
That’s 9 tacos out of 10.
At the end of this page, I’ll post a link to Robert Munsch’s website where he reads his stories. If you’ve got young children or you’d just love to hear a great storyteller in action, there is none better.
Down the back of the chair
by Margaret Mahy, Frances Lincoln Books, 2006, Illustrated by Polly Dunbar.
I remember reading a book called Lion in the Meadow when I was young, and whenever I think about it my childhood floods back, so it was a buzz to read a Margaret Mahy book to my son. And this story is a romp! Dad is so poor he is pulling his hair out. His family is in rack and ruin. Until Mary suggests he look down the back of the chair. He finds everything from a bandicoot to a bumble bee and even a long lost will of Uncle Bill.
This is a rhyming picture book with such great rhythm, energy and craziness that I give it 4 tacos.
When a monster is born
by Sean Taylor, Orchard books, 2006, illustrated by Nick Sharratt.
A bit like More Pies, I must have read this to you a hundred times. It’s such a great book to read aloud. It has great rhythm and the way the story comes full circle is very clever. It’s a humorous story of the many possibilities that the reader and a monster could get up to. Funny and not at all scary.
‘It’s based on a traditional Brazilian poem called, When a baby is born. Did you know that?’
No, I didn’t. Aren’t you the smarty pants?’
‘Smarter than you!’
Keep dreaming. I give this 4 tacos.
‘Yep, I agree.’
Well Max, that’s just three books. But, we enjoyed so many more. I’ll have to get you back again another time.
‘Okay, will i get paid?’
‘Am i getting paid for this?’
‘Can I have some money anyway?’
‘Make me some tacos?’
‘Then, can you drive me to Matt’s house?
Here’s a link to Robert Munsch’s website
He reads his stories out loud on this site, and there is no better storyteller. Enjoy. http://robertmunsch.com/