Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus

  • Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus
  • written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway
  • published by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Do you have a grumpasaurus in your home? Let me rephrase…do you have a child of basically any age in your home? You do? Then you also have a grumpasaurus.

I must also come clean right here at the top that I have a soft spot for books that disguise themselves as field guides for fictional creatures. (The same is true for travel guides to fictional places. Love ’em.)

So…a field guide to a grumpy toddler who’s incognito as an adorable stegosaurus? Yeah, you had me at hello.

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Teen Boat! The Race for Boatlantis

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Just when I thought every original idea had already been taken, used, recycled, and rebooted to death, along comes Teen Boat! – perhaps the most original concept I’ve read all year.

I somehow missed the first book in the series, which came out 2012, but it’s not necessarily required reading before tackling the sequel: The Race for Boatlantis.

In a nutshell, our protagonist is Teen Boat, an ordinary high school teenager that happens to be able to transform himself into a boat. Yep. And there’s no secret identify nonsense. His entire school knows he can turn into a boat, and it’s apparently no big deal.

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I Yam a Donkey!

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  • I Yam a Donkey!
  • written and illustrated by Cece Bell
  • published by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) (2015)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

A children’s picture book whose entire reason for being is to make bad grammar jokes? Don’t mind if I do. Written and illustrated by Cece Bell? Oh my goodness, YES!

Bell is perhaps best known for the graphic novel El Deafo, for which she won the Newbery Honor and then the even greater honor of being part of our Questions from a Kid series. However, her background is more heavily focused on picture books…and I Yam a Donkey! is the latest and greatest.

The book centers on a “Who’s on First?” style dialogue between a donkey and a yam…which is where all great works of literature ultimately begin. The yam, being a stickler for correct grammar and pronunciation, can’t help but correct the slightly dim-witted donkey.

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