Forecast this summer: Plenty of funny reads
Some things are not always what they seem at first. Reading funny books that make this point are not only entertaining but can serve to help kids understand this important life lesson, both from a comical perspective as well as a more sobering one.
The ability to look beyond the surface of things and see with objectivity is called critical thinking. When a person doesn’t possess the ability to be a critical thinker, he or she may evaluate an issue incorrectly and can fall prey to all sorts of things that can cause harm. Just because someone says this is what you should believe, this is what you should do, or this is the only course of action doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.
Help kids develop critical thinking skills. Begin with funny books and move on from there with other books, conversations, and every opportunity that surfaces, because the truth is that critical thinking skills for kids begins with you.
BOOKS TO BORROW
The following book is available at many public libraries.
“Duck Soup” written and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic, HarperCollins, 32 pages
Read aloud: ages 4-7
Read yourself: ages 6-7
Max the duck loves to cook soup, and his new recipe promises to be a masterpiece. Max tastes and tastes the soup, and finally decides it needs some fresh herbs from the garden. Just as Max leaves the kitchen, three of his friends arrive. The friends smell Max’s soup, but can’t find Max. Then, Dakota the cat spies one of Max’s feathers floating on top of the soup. No! Not duck soup!
A hilarious romp of three friends frantically searching for the missing Max and misunderstanding the situation completely, “Duck Soup” will have readers laughing out loud and clamoring to read this selection many times over.
Library: Goleta Branch Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave., Goleta
Library director: Allison Gray
Choices this week: “Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore” by David McPhail; “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells; “Dr. DeSoto” by William Steig
BOOKS TO BUY
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
“Mac B. Kid Spy: The Impossible Crime” by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Mike Lowery, Orchard Books, 2019, 152 pages, $12.99 hardcover
Read aloud: ages 7-10
Read yourself: ages 8-10
Mac B. is a kid spy for the Queen of England. Having solved a crime for her before, Mac is now in her service again to solve another terrible crime: someone is about to attempt to steal the crown jewels (again), but this time, it’s not a KGB man (as was the case in “Mac. B Kid Spy: Mac Undercover”). Instead, the soon-to-be-thief is an Irishman.
The Queen has received a threatening note and feels certain she has the Irishman pegged as the would-be thief and concocts a plan of her own to catch the criminal red-handed. Her plan is to lock Mac in the Tower of London with a Royal crown, scepter and orb, and the Queen’s trusted guardsman, Holcroft. Mac and Holcroft are to wait for the thief to strike and then nab him. Bizarrely, despite the tight and near-impossible odds, the Royal items are stolen, but no one seems to know how.
As is often the case, situations and people are not always what they seem, and it’s up to Mac to find the stolen crown jewels, uncover how the robbery was done, and by whom.
Hilariously written and perfectly complemented by gobs of funny illustrations, this latest installment in the Mac. B. Kid Spy series is guaranteed to delight.
“The Wild Wombat” by Udo Weigelt, illustrated by Melanie Freund, translated by Kathryn Grell, minedition, 2019, 32 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: ages 4-8
Read yourself: ages 7-8
One hot summer day at the zoo, Parrot overhears a zookeeper say to his coworker that today the wild wombat will arrive from Australia and that they must be very careful with him. Feeling quite in the know, Parrot flies off to tell Seal the news and both decide this wild wombat must be very dangerous indeed.
One animal after another passes the story, and as the word spreads about the wild wombat’s arrival, the story of its fierce and dangerous nature becomes bigger and more exaggerated. What IS this wild wombat really like?
A very funny story akin to “whisper down the lane” about misperceptions and misunderstandings, kids will relish “The Wild Wombat” beginning to end and demand repeat readings.