El Deafo

el deafo cover

Written & Illustrated by: Cece Bell

Color by: David Lasky

Published in 2014

Genre: Graphic Novel, Humor, Autobiography

Grade Level: 2-6

Newbery Honor Book 2015

Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) 2015

Summary: El Deafo is a autobiographical memoir of the author’s experiences growing up deaf, including the imaginary superhero she created to fight her battles. Cece was born hearing, but became deaf at age four after an illness. The book tells the story of the struggles she faced, the friends she made (and lost), and the “super powers” she gained with the use of her Phonic Ear.

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The Twits

TT cover

Written by: Roald Dahl

Illustrated by: Quentin Blake

Published in 1980

Genre: Humor

Grade Level: 3-5

Summary: Mr. and Mrs. Twit are cranky, disgustingly ugly, and all around mean-spirited people. They seem to hate everyone and everything, including each other. They spend their days pranking each other, eating bird pie, and training monkeys… until one day the birds and the monkeys strike back.

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Junie B. Jones: Books 1-3

Written by: Barbara Park

Illustrated by: Denise Brunkus

Published: 1992-1993

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor

Grade Level: K-3

The Junie B. Jones series is made up of short chapter books documenting the life and problems of Junie B, a little girl who has just started kindergarten. I bought all of the kindergarten series (and some of the “Junie B., First Grader” series) from a garage sale a year or two ago. I decided to review three books to start out with, as the books are so short and easy to get through.

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Dork Diaries: Amy’s Review

Dork Diaries amy read

The book, Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life, is about a girl named Nikki Maxwell. This book is mostly set in a school named Westchester Country Day. The main characters are Nikki, Chloe, Zoey, Mckenzie, and Brandon.

I like this book because of three reasons. The first reason is that there is tons of humor. Okay, maybe not tons, but plenty. The second reason is that the pictures match with the story. The third reason is that it’s just plain dorky!

My personal favorite part is when Nikki says her life motto. “Bloodsuckers CANNOT be trusted!” The reason she says this is because she is allergic to “bloodsuckers.”

I think this book deserves… five stars!

5 blue star

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This review is all from Amy. I haven’t read Dork Diaries yet, though now I’m curious about these “bloodsuckers” Amy mentioned… I’ve heard that the Dork Diaries series is basically Diary of a Wimpy Kid but with the main character being a girl. I’d be interested to see how true that is.

Amy will have more reviews like this (of books I haven’t read) since she is a bit older and enjoys reading so much. A lot of her reviews will (probably) be of YA books geared towards the upper middle school grades, especially since she isn’t around my house very often to read the picture books I’m bringing home from the library.

Funny Things I Heard at the Bus Stop: Volume 1

Taken from LibraryThing.com

Taken from LibraryThing.com

Written by: Angela Giroux

Published in 2012

Genre: Humor

Grade Level: 2-5

Funny Things I Heard at the Bus Stop: Volume 1 is a collection of six short stories written from the points of view of children in elementary school. Each story is narrated by a different person and there is no real underlying theme tying them all together.

Since all of the short stories are completely different, I will address each one individually.

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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

TSCMaOFST cover

Written by: Jon Scieszka

Illustrated by: Lane Smith

Published in 1992

Caldecott Honor Book

Genre: Picture Book, Humor

Grade Level: 2-5

Summary: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (which from now on will be referred to as The Stinky Cheese Man) includes ridiculous and sarcastic retellings of classic fairy tales. With titles such as “Chicken Licken” and “Little Red Running Shorts,” this book is full of amusing and outrageous stories. The narrator Jack (from the classic tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”) makes a mockery of the way stories are traditionally told. From an upside down dedication page to the copyright page being stuck at the back of the book, Scieszka and Smith have created a mixed up yet amusing experience from cover to cover.

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Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

WSGaLS cover

Written by: Louis Sachar

Illustrated by: Joel Schick

Published in 1995

Genre: Humor

Grade Level: 3-5

Summary: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is the third book in the Wayside School series. The books are silly, and at times make little to no sense. Wayside School was supposed to be one floor with thirty classrooms, but the builders messed up and made it thirty stories high with one classroom on each floor. This book begins with Louis (the yard teacher) repairing the school and getting all the cows out so the students can come back. The book then goes on to describe all of the crazy situations faced by the students in the 30th floor classroom throughout the year. From their teacher going on maternity leave to the substitutes who cover for her (each of which has something wrong with them), Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is full of crazy (but entertaining) stories.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Written and Illustrated by: Jeff KinneyIMG_1011

Published in 2007

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor

Grade Level: 3-5

Summary: “A novel in cartoons,” Diary of a Wimpy Kid tells the story of Greg Heffley over the course of one year in middle school. The book is written in the form of a diary journal and includes cartoon drawings on each page that help move the story along. Greg and his friend Rowley get into several ridiculous situations throughout the year, involving both their families and the school. The book covers several smaller stories that occur in one and two month chunks.

Cover: The cover on this book is gorgeous. It really gives the feel of a diary turned journal by a middle schooler. It even has some shiny “tape” to give the effect of pictures and strips of paper being taped onto the book. The cover clearly conveys the intent of the story.

Illustrations: Jeff Kinney includes comic book style illustrations on every page of the book. The pictures are fun to look at and are needed to make sense of the story. In this book, the illustrations are just as important as the words… maybe even more important. There are several instances in the book where the words would make no sense without the illustrations to give them context.

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A Bad Case of the Giggles

A Bad Case of the Giggles

ABCotG Cover

Edited by: Bruce Lansky

Illustrated by: Stephen Carpenter

Published in 1994

Genre: Poetry, Humor

Grade Level: 1-5

Summary: A Bad Case of the Giggles is an anthology of funny poems for children covering a variety of topics. According to the editor, the poems were narrowed down to “the very best” by teachers and children from a list of hundreds of poems.

Cover: The book I have is hard cover and very sturdy. The colors are bright and eye-catching. The fonts match the book and are easy to read. The back cover has a short summary, reviews, and a short biography of Bruce Lansky (the editor).

Illustrations: I loved the illustrations in this book.They were interesting and gave context to the poems. One poem, “Bleezer’s Ice Cream” by Jack Prelutsky, uses the illustration of an ice cream parlor to display part of the poem. Most of this particular poem is made up of silly ice cream flavors, which are listed on a board similar to what you would see in a real ice cream parlor.

ABCotG Illustration example All of the illustrations in this book are in black and white, which balances them with the poems quite nicely. The one negative about the illustrations in this book is that there is very little diversity in the characters. Almost all of the children and adults shown in the book are white.

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