Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Patrick in a Teddy Bear's Picnic and other stories by Geoffrey Hayes
All of this is to say, I'm so excited that Toon Books and Geoffrey Hayes has brought back Patrick! I loved his mouse characters, Benny and Penny, and Patrick has the same real child feeling with delightful illustrations and Toon Books signature blend of easy text and simple comic panels.
The title story has Patrick and his mother going on a picnic in the park. There's excitement (an escaped balloon and a bully), humor (Patrick and his mom being silly together), disappointment (rain!) and a happy ending (picnic in the living room!). The other stories contain several episodes of a continuing funny story about Patrick's naps (great for teaching continuity and plot development and time and so on) and a longer story where Patrick meets the bully, Big Bear, again and after some initial setbacks wins the day.
Hayes' characters have charm without being saccharine and while Patrick may not appeal to the screen-obsessed kids who only want easy readers with tv tie-in characters, most kids will be drawn in by the comic format and funny pictures and find themselves giggling along with the story as they improve their reading and comprehension skills.
The back contains a fun author note about the inspiration for the story, tips for parents on reading comics with kids, and an explanation of the reading levels in Toon Books.
Verdict: Toon Books are a must for your easy reader section and I predict this new series from Geoffrey Hayes will be a classic. Buy two copies. Now!
ISBN: 9781935179092; Published April 2011 by Toon Books; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library