Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

What could Little T be afraid of at the zoo? Her parents and big sister try to figure it out alphabetically. As the family proceeds through the alphabet, they call out a letter or a description and use their bodies and whatever is lying around to act out the animal. Children will be able to guess the animal for each letter based on these clues, but the family goes from A to Z and still cannot guess what frightens Little T.

Upon arriving at the zoo, Little T’s family finally solves the mystery. When they return home they amusingly act out Little T’s fear as well. Your readers will never guess what Little T’s fear is, but the payoff will still be great, perhaps even better for being completely unexpected.

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As the song goes, “Fish got to swim and birds got to fly”, but that doesn’t mean they have to be happy about it. What if what we thought we knew about our friends in the animal kingdom turned out to be vicious stereotyping. The revelatory volume, What Animals Really Like blows all our assumptions about animals out of the water.

As the book begins, Mr. Herbert Timberteeth is debuting a song of his own, “What Animals Like Most.” His choir is composed of cows, monkeys, frogs, and a menagerie of other animals. He’s not expecting them to go off-book.

Things start off well: “We are lions, and we like to prowl. We are wolves, and we like to howl. We are pigeons, and we like to coo.”

But then things take a turn: “We are horses, and we like deep-sea diving. We are worms, and we like to bowl. We are warthogs, and we like to parachute.”

Children will enjoy this irreverent story and its surprising twists. Very ambitions storytellers might even choose to find a tune to which they can sing Mr. Timberteeth’s song.

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It’s hard living at the top of the food chain. Sure, you might have your pick of yummy food to eat but nobody likes you.

“The lion tries to ignore it when the gazelles whisper behind his back. He pretends not to see the zebras looking down their noses at him. The wildebeests call him ‘bad kitty’ just because he’s eaten half the neighborhood. It hurts. It really does.”

So, the lion, timber wolf, and great white shark decide to go vegetarian. It goes just about as well as you might think. Carnivores just can’t ignore their natural instincts. They try disguising themselves as less threatening animals, but that doesn’t work either. Finally, they seek out the great horned owl for advice. What he tells them changes everything.

Carnivores is a darkly humorous picture book perfect for older children and fans of similar titles including Ugly Fish, Whatever, and Jim: a Cautionary Tale.

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Woodland critters are very skittish. The slightest noise can send them scampering away. So, when a few bunnies sitting under a tree by a lake hear a sudden “PLOP!” they are off and running. They warn the fox, who warns the monkey, and soon all of the animals are running for their lives. All except the big brown bear.

The big brown bear is not scared of things; things are scared of him! He wants to find this “PLOP!” that is stepping onto his turf. So, the big brown bear forces one of the bunnies to take him back to see the “PLOP!” When the two return to the lake, they hear the “PLOP!” again. This time the bunny notices where the sound is coming from and is no longer afraid. The big brown bear, however, has a different reaction.

This is a story about bravery and the fear of the unknown. Children will quickly realize what caused the “PLOP!” and will find humor in each animal’s overreaction. Colorful illustrations fill the page and even make use of photographs. A picture of cake is created by combining a photo with hand-drawings, while the texture of the big brown bear’s fur looks like real yarn. Pictures of a knife and glass appear to be clip art inserted into the illustrations. This is another title perfect for a storytime audience.

Check the WRL catalog for The Terrible Plop.

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“We’ll start in the jungle where the tall trees grow and the monkeys swing from vine to vine. Wait a minute. That’s not a monkey. That looks like…A TIGER! Run!”

In It’s a Tiger! a boy runs from a tiger that seems to be following him. Through the jungle, underground, on the sea, everywhere he goes he finds the tiger. Does the tiger want to eat him, or does he just want to hear a story? Given that this is a picture book recommended for preschoolers and kindergarteners, you can probably guess which.

This book is great for storytime and a natural for doing call and response. As children learn the rhythm of the book they will pick up on the prompt for their part: “A TIGER!” You could also integrate movement by having the children mime the boy’s actions as he ducks, climbs, tiptoes, and swims away from the tiger. The ending always gets a good reaction from the audience as well, as a new animal enters the picture.

Mr. La Rochelle has written an entertaining, interactive book perfectly illustrated with Tankard’s bold and colorful pictures.

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How to Hide a Lion is about the unlikely friendship between a girl and a lion. Unfortunately, “Moms and dads can be funny about having a lion in the house”, so the girl embarks on the ambitious task of hiding the lion from her parents. This friendly lion is easier to hide than a ferocious lion would be, but he is still rather large. He’s also very difficult to move when he’s sleeping, which proves to be their downfall.

This picture book is a bit of a throwback, as it is very reminiscent of oldies but goodies like The Story of Ferdinand and Madeline. Part of that similarity may come from the sketched illustrations, but it also comes across in the quaint quality of the story. This is a great book for either storytime or one-on-one, perhaps paired with a few classic titles.

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It’s one of those days when Frankie and Sal feel like they’ve done it all. The only solution, “Let’s do nothing!” And they certainly make an attempt, pretending to be motionless statues, trees, and skyscrapers. Unfortunately, Frankie’s imagination is too active to do nothing. As a statue he attracts pigeons, as a tree he attracts a dog with a full bladder, and as a skyscraper he attracts King Kong. Each attempt at doing nothing fails, but Sal is undeterred. What will they do if they can’t do “nothing”?

The visuals in this book are highly entertaining and will have readers laughing out loud. This one is a crowd-pleaser perfect for an older storytime audience.

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