20 September 2013

Triple Visit to the Funny Pages

Mighty Alice Goes Round and Round by Richard ThompsonLittle Alice Otterloop is just four years old but she has all the wit and wisdom of a girl about three times her age. Her adventures take place at preschool, when playing with friends, or at home with her family. Although Richard Thompson ended his syndicated comic strip Cul de Sac because of health problems, he has continued to put together collections of past strips so new readers can meet the force known as Alice.

Mighty Alice Goes Round and Round is a terrific introduction to the world of Cul de Sac and will appeal to most readers from about fourth grade to adults. I love how Thompson's humor can be read on several levels, making it accessible to both kids and their parents.

Through the strips in Mighty Alice Goes Round and Round, Thompson touches on a number of themes, such as brother-sister relationships, school, friendships, and family life. It's fun to tag along with Alice as she learns about Halloween, talks to the classroom guinea pig, celebrates Christmas, gets sick, and discovers the secrets of the world from her friend Dill and big brother Petey.

Beginning Pearls by Stephan T. PastisI'm already a fan of the comic Pearls before Swine, and I'm pleased that Stephan T. Patis's latest collection of strips is geared to middle grade readers. Youngsters will readily laugh at the animal characters' antics, from Rat's huge ego to the Crocs' never-ending schemes to capture Zebra and have him for dinner. Although Patis sometimes writes about politics, Beginning Pearls was compiled especially for kids, so the humor is all within their reach.

The book is divided by character, allowing newcomers to meet each animal up close and personal. I think my two favorite characters are Goat, who fancies himself an intellectual, and Zebra, who is trying to make peace with the fact that his nearest neighbors think of him as food. Rat and Pig have a complicated relationship, and educators and parents may want to talk about the former's selfishness and the latter's self-esteem issues.

Snoopy Cowabunga! by Charles SchulzWho doesn't love Snoopy? When Charles Schulz published the first syndicated strip of Peanuts in 1950, I'm sure he had no clue how popular his characters would become. Although Charlie Brown is the human hero of the comic, it's his dog, Snoopy, who takes center stage in the latest collection, Snoopy Cowabunga!.

I doubt I need to introduce Snoopy or his friends to any of you, so I'll skip that part. Instead, I'll give you a hint of the many roles the loveable beagle takes on in Snoopy Cowabunga!, some of which are favorites of mine. The two main themes in this book are Snoopy trying to be a writer and Snoopy as an athlete (playing all kinds of sports). There are also a few strips of Snoopy in the Boy Scouts and, of course, it wouldn't be a Peanuts collection without Lucy's psychiatry booth and Linus's blanket. Snoopy Cowabunga! makes great family reading for fans and newcomers alike.

This post will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted by Julie at Booking Mama.

Mighty Alice Goes Round and Round (ISBN-13: 9781449437213), Beginning Pearls (ISBN-13: 9781449423032), Snoopy Cowabunga! (ISBN-13: 9781449450793)
Andrews McMeel, 2013
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


bermudaonion 9/20/13, 8:05 AM  

How fun! Snoopy is a personal favorite of mine.

Julie P. 9/21/13, 8:37 AM  

What a great assortment of books. Thanks so much for sharing.

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