Friday, November 21, 2008

That's Good, That's Bad! (series) by Margery Cuyler

Margery Cuyler's picturebook series, That's Good, That's Bad, lives up to its title. The first, That's Good, That's Bad, illustrated by David Catrow, is a wacky adventure that will have kids waiting breathlessly for the next disaster or triumph.

That's good.

Her second, also illustrated by David Catrow, That's Good, That's Bad in the Grand Canyon, is an equally excellent insanity, as the little boy's vacation in the Grand Canyon takes some strange turns.

That's good.
No, that's bad!

Because for some reason, the success of her second book apparently inspired her to write a third...and That's Good, That's Bad in Washington D. C. is not good - at all. Firstly, David Catrow's wacky illustrations are replaced by Michael Garland's flat and impersonal digital art, which is not at all inspiring. Secondly, Cuyler seems to have lost the thread of her transitions and events flip from good to bad without the logical progression of her earlier books.

That's bad.

Still, two out of three, is not a bad ratio, and those two are indeed enjoyable.

That's good.

Verdict: I highly recommend the titles illustrated by David Catrow, but give the third a miss.

That's Good That's Bad
ISBN: 978-0805015355; Published August 1991 by Henry Holt (there is a later edition still in print); Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

That's Good That's Bad in the Grand Canyon
ISBN: 978-0805059755; Published April 2002 by Henry Holt (sadly out of print); Borrowed from the library

That's Good That's Bad in Washington D.C.
ISBN: 978-0805077278; Published June 2007 by Henry Holt; Borrowed from the library

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