Sunday, February 1, 2009

Knucklehead -- a Very Funny Book

Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka, by Jon Scieszka. Viking, 2008.

Kids and adults will love this. Knucklehead is a very funny kids’ book about Jon Scieszka growing up with his five brothers. Anyone who has read his many books will expect them to be funny. After starting, you won’t put this one down until you finish it.

He delivers a lot of short, illustrated chapters about the Catholic school, Halloween dress-up, his parents and other things. Several times he talks about his mother leaving every year or two and returning with a new baby brother. There are the games that involve balls and piled up kids, like Slaughter Ball. The babysitter gets tied up with Dad’s ties and put into the closet. The Dick and Jane books of elementary school get a bad rating for being outside reality. Dr. Seuss books score high. He says, “So I guess I didn’t really learn to read by reading about those weirdos Dick and Jane. I learned to read because I wanted to find out more about real things like dogs in cars and cats in hats.” (chapter 11). The book promises an adventure story on its cover, which looks like an issue of an adventure comic book.

Scieszka has written a lot of funny books, including Math Curse, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, the Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and the Time Warp Trio series. Knucklehead received a starred review in School Library Journal and is a Junior Literary Guild selection. The Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council have named Scieszka the first National Ambassador for Children’s Literature. He founded Guys Read, a non-profit literary organization.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Kathleen Melodie Allen Whitt: I am sorry to learn of the death of your husband. My condolences to you. I fumbled onto your blogs and enjoyed them; also your picture was posted along with an article about your retirement (?). Not to put to fine a point on it, here we are at twilight, wondering just what the hell is coming next. I'm retired, sort of, and living on the Central Coast of California. I still teach ESL at a JC near here. I usually try to visit the UW campus when I visit my family; it was a place where I spent some very happy years. It was where I became me, as I have been wont to say. Again, sorry for your loss and I enjoy your blogs. But just what is that costume you have on in your picture?

    Elliot R. Dreger