Friday, April 5, 2013

Bad Boy, Good Boy by Kay Chorao

Poor Sam.  He's not trying to do anything wrong, he's trying to do things right.  The adults in his life see the wrong things first, unfortunately.

Abrams Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

One of the things that caught my eye about this book was the beautiful illustrations.  They are very colorful and quite whimsical.  They bring the story to life.  Then I noticed the author/illustrator had taken classes from Edward Gorey.  His drawings tended to be dark and dreary, but you can see a touch of the influence of style in these illustrations, which are much brighter and joyful.

Sam helps his grandfather cook a snack at night.  He's not allowed to cook but when grandfather can't see well and asks for help, what can he do?  Mom tells him he's a bad boy and takes him back to bed.  When he explains, she tells him he's a good boy and they'll both clean up the kitchen in morning.  This one of the four stories in this book.

There are a lot bads and just a few goods in these tales.  I think they are to demonstrate a point, but I hope you never emphasize "bad" that much.  Children respond much better to praise and parents should know the whole story before they make judgements.

Sam is a creative free spirit and that causes him problems everywhere.  But he's a  good kid who cares about those around him, so how can you not like him?

Looking at those illustrations again, I think they also remind me of Mercer Mayer's style.  Why don't you get a copy of the book and see what you think?

Happy reading.

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