The Children's Book Compass

Archive for May 2011

Huck Runs Amuck!  by SeanTaylor.  Illus. by Peter H. Reynolds.  (2011).  Pages not numbered.  Dial.  Grades P-4.  Picture Book.

As I was reading through a pile of unremarkable picture books I found this treasure – it made me laugh out loud over and over.  I had to read aloud to my class the next day.  The comic illustrations together with the rollicking text deliver a fun filled romp about a goat named, Huck.  His favorite food is flowers.  “Huck dreams of/ mountain meadows full of flowers,/ and mouthfuls of petals/ melting on his tongue./ The problem is…/ …other goats like eating/ flowers too./  And there aren’t any left.”

The fun starts when Huck pursues his passion for flowers in one wild adventure after another.  Each time he suffers a mishap that leads to disaster.  However, all is not lost when another chance pops up to indulge his passion.  He even can’t resist Mrs. Tuppleton’s flowery underpants drying on the line.  As he jumps to pull the underpants off the line – “He scrambles/ on the tips/ of his super-grip toes./  He clambers with his knees,/ his tail, and his nose./  He’s up on the clothesline/ without hesitation./  He’s a high-kicking,/ back-flipping,/ climbing sensation! / He’s nearly there!-/ He wiggle-waggles his tail!/ His teeth are a whisker away-/But –Oh No!”  Another calamity occurs.

Part of the fun is repeating refrains with varied fonts and sizes.  Children will soon be joining in the reading.  Reynolds’ action packed, colorful watercolors feature Huck with buck teeth, bulging eyes, and horrified expressions as his escapades escalate.  Taylor and Reynolds make the reader want to turn the page to see what happen next.   The surprise ending gave me more to chuckle about.  Don’t miss this humorous treat.

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