Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Who the What?

I'm seeing a small trend in my TBR pile...

Clark the Shark: Tooth Trouble

Two Clark the Shark books today...

Clark the Shark Takes Heart

Clark is really growing on me, as a big lovable - toothsome - lug. In "Tooth Trouble", we learn there is one thing sharks might be afraid of...dentists! ("It took his mother, two dads, and a dental assistant to get Clark into the dentist's chair.") Of course, it turns out this dentist isn't scary at all - she even tells really HORRIBLE jokes, just like our dentist! (Sorry, Dr. Westover, but we have to call it like we see it.) It's great to see a beginning reader that is actually a good story, not a forced collection of vocabulary words. Another great passage:

"Billy-Ray Ray says dentists are mean and scary," said Clark.
"Billy-Ray also told you that whales can fly," said his mom.
"Oh, yeah," said Clark.

In Clark the Shark Takes Heart, Clark wants to impress Anna Angelfish, but he tends to go a bit overboard, with some unintended results. When he finally goes with sweet and simple, he of course gets the girl. Er, fish.

Then we have:

Splat the Cat and the Hotshot

Splat can hardly wait to put on his uniform, tie knots, and build a fire. But when a new member of the group does everything just a bit better than everyone else, Splat wishes he could have a chance to shine. Thanks to some sticky mud, he might get to show what a great outdoors-cat he really is!

I am not as big a fan of Splat, as his books tend to be hit-or-miss. Reviews of a couple I liked can be found here and here. This one is thankfully without the gimmicks of lift-the-flaps or stickers, and I was equally thankful that the author (actually Laura Driscoll) did not take the path of Scott, the impressive new scout, being arrogant, or Splat being peevishly jealous. Splat admires Scott's abilities, Scott is happy to help Splat out, and when Splat gets the chance to return the favor, nobody has to feel bad about it. Definitely one to circulate among the kids (and maybe the grown-ups!)

Hey - say, "Rob Scotton's Cat Scout Scott" three times fast.

Never mind, I can't say it once.

Charlie the Ranch Dog: Stuck in the Mud

Charlie has a new picture boo out, too, which we are waiting on. The first thing my kids do upon picking up any Charlie the Ranch Dog book, is look for the chipmunk on each page. A couple spreads don't seem to have one, which will cause no end of consternation in my household. Other than that, I think the kids will enjoy the story - heck, anything involving mud makes them happy!

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