Book Review: Some of my recent reads, Part II; or, Adam Rex & Co.


Continuing from yesterday’s excursion through some children’s books, I also read quite a bit of Adam Rex, who has a strange, quirky artistic style that is just as endearing as Oliver Jeffers. He even hides little easter eggs for his older readers on occasion.

Tree Ring Circus

Tree-Ring Circus by Adam Rex

Adam Rex’s first children’s book is simple, yet vibrant and funny.

A tree grows in a field and is soon populated by 33 animals (including a clown) until it all comes toppling down.

So good!

Pssst!Pssst! by Adam Rex

This is probably one of the best Kids’ books I’ve read in a long time. It is intricate and simple, filled with little funny easter eggs.

What happens when a bunch of animals have been cooped up for too long?
Pssst!You’re about to find out.

A little girl goes to the zoo and all of the animals become rather demanding as they ask her for items.

[The gorilla wants two tires, just in case.

The skunk pig (javelina) wants trash cans.

The bats want flashlights for the hippo that lives in the bat cave (complete with a little boy dressed as Batman sitting outside).

The penguins want bright colored paint.

The sloths want helmets for when they fall out of the tree.

The turkeys want corn (and one repeats it incessantly, much like a raven I despise…).

The baboon wants a wheelbarrow to sit in.

My favorite moment: as the girl strolls through the zoo, she passes a lot of signs with animal names, and the walrus’ sign says, “I AM THE WALRUS (koo-koo-kachoo).” Brilliant!

The artwork is simple, yet funny and filled with small, humorous moments.

I loved this!

Goodnight GoonGoodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

This was an adorable spin on a childhood favorite of mine, Goodnight Moon. It’s quick and quirky.

guykuGUYKU: A Year of Haiku For Boys by Bob Raczka

This was a delightful introduction to haiku for boys. It moves through the four seasons, starting with Spring, and told entirely through haiku vignettes. Haiku explores nature, which is the inherent environment for young boys, so it works incredibly well.
Haiku is my favorite poetic form, and it’s great to see someone gearing it toward kids.

Redwall FeastThe Great Redwall Feast by Brian Jacques

This is how tales of Brian JacquesRedwall should be told.

I really enjoyed the first book in the Redwall series, but there were times when it was just a bit too long. This tale, lushly illustrated, tells of the secret preparations for a surprise feast for the Abbot of Redwall.

Everyone is in on it, and there are a few hitches, but it all ends well.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the citizens of Redwall in full color.

Yuck!Yuck! That’s Not a Monster! by Angela McAllister

This was pretty great! It’s a deep examination of what it actually means to be scary. The roles are reversed, the world is turned upside-down, and I really learned something. And I laughed as well.

I’ll continue to read children’s books. They’re great for passing the time, and they tell concise, generally touching stories.

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