The Great Indoors (Julie Falatko)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Great Indoors, written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Ruth Chan, a cute tale of woodland creatures getting away from it all.

Soon after a family pulls away from their home, their car loaded up with camping gear and supplies, a group of animals peeks out from the bushes and ventures into the empty house. The Bears, Beavers, Deer, and many more woodland families join in this annual tradition of living the “simple” life in the great indoors. The Bears cozy up in front of the couch, the beavers take command of the kitchen, the deer bring the party, and all the families marvel at the “creature comforts” of their home away from home. But soon, the inconveniences of indoor life begin to grow frustrating, and the indoor campers are ready to head back to normal life in the woods – wonder what their human hosts will think of the mess they left behind?

This is such a great concept: the idea that animals “camp” in our homes just as we camp in theirs. The story has a lot of fun with this, drawing various parallels to both the joys of camping and its frustrations while framing it around this concept, and it makes for a few good laughs (and even one gag that’s worth thinking about: how would YOU feel if someone left their mess on your home after camping?). Chan’s artwork adds a chaotic energy to the bunch, and does a great job of tracking the mess in the house as it gets more and more out of control. The length is good, and JJ liked it. A great one to read pre-camping trip, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

No Boring Stories! (Julie Falatko)

Hello, friends! Our book today is No Boring Stories!, written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Charles Santoso, a hilarious yet poignant look at the creative process.

Bunny has a head full of wonderful and strange story ideas, but her fellow “cute and cuddly” creators just don’t seem to get what she’s about. Seeing a sign for a meeting of the International Society for Writers Of Odd and Weird, Bunny is sure she has finally found a collaborative group – unfortunately, the offbeat animals (a babirusa, a yeti crab, a star-nosed mole, and a giraffe-necked weevil), repeatedly turn her away due to her bunny-ness. She tries to blend into the scenery, listening to the group collab on a story about a fearless princess and her team of heroes, but gives herself away when she blurts our story ideas. The Society is unmoved – what could a bunny offer to the world of odd and weird? How can Bunny show them that all she wants is a chance to share her talents?

Absolutely fantastic. A wildly entertaining blend of hilarious dialogue, action-packed illustrations, a crash-course in story structure, and an important lesson about snap judgements, that somehow never feels overwhelming. Indeed, many of the lessons are subtle, wrapped in the over-the-top text (crazy fun to read aloud, btw). Readers will learn terms like “rising action” and the concept of “relatable characters”, and (most importantly) the idea that one’s talent or aptitude for something is not predetermined by their appearance or background. The art is colorful, fun, and endearing, the length is great, and we both had a blast reading it. Emphatically Baby Bookworm approved!

Snappsy The Alligator And His Best Friend Forever! (Probably) (Julie Falatko)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Snappsy The Alligator And His Best Friend Forever! (Probably), written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Tim Miller, a story of how friendship can often be perfectly imperfect.

A direct sequel to the hilarious Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book), the reader rejoins the reluctant protagonist as he embarks on a new adventure: friendship with the enthusiastic and slightly overbearing chicken narrator from the previous installment. The chicken has now decided that he and Snappsy are best friends forever, and will spend every waking moment together having adventures! Snappsy is less than enthused about this. After all, he only invited the chicken to one party week ago – which the chicken technically NEVER LEFT! Snappsy is looking forward to a quiet day of running errands, but the chicken insists that they are going to have a best friends sleepover! With karaoke! And scary movies! And pizza hats (which is just pizza, worn on the head)! Snappsy needs some space, so how is he going to get his new “friend” to understand that? And once he has it, is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

This was a wildly fun sequel to a book that we had loved, and we had so much fun reading it. Snappsy and his friend (eventually revealed to be named Bert in a wonderful scene), provide a great lesson in friendship, boundaries, and respect, all while providing a lot of laughs along the way. The art is colorful and rich with character and charm, and supports the story with some clever and thoughtful details. The length is good, and JJ really enjoyed it, especially the theatrical “voice” of Bert. A delightful read with a laugh-out-loud last page, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book!) (Julie Falatko)

(Sorry for the delay! The whole Baby Bookworm family has been a little under the weather, so we called it an early night last night. Here is yesterday’s review:) 

Hello, everybody! Today, we read Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book!), written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Tim Miller, a very funny story about an alligator and his pesky narrator.

Snappsy the alligator is just trying to have a nice, normal day. Unfortunately, he has a problem: someone is narrating his life for a children’s book! How irritating! Especially when they are saying things about him that simply aren’t true, like that he eats bunnies and lives in a rickety shack. Can the narrator and his reluctant protagonist reach an accord? Or will this story have an unhappy ending?

What a fun book to read aloud! You have to find two distinctive voices for Snappsy and the narrator, but once you do, this makes for a hilarious read (even JJ’s Dada was laughing)! Younger readers like JJ are sure to like it, but older kids would go absolutely wild for this one. The length is great, the illustrations are fun and compliment the story well, and there’s even a lesson about not always taking things at face value. Overall, a fantastically funny book for all ages, and we highly recommend it! Baby Bookworm approved!