THE BIG NO-NO! by Geoffrey Hayes
Summary: Benny and his sister Penny know it’s wrong to sneak into someone else’s backyard but their mysterious new neighbor—or is it a monster?—may be a thief. They go snooping and discover a lot about themselves and…a new friend.
Bestselling children’s artist Geoffrey Hayes enchants early readers with his charming and subtle storytelling. In this lively caper, the artist’s small-scale mice take on large-scale issues with enormous comics mastery. -- Toon Books
LUKE ON THE LOOSE by Harry Bliss
Summary: Luke looks on at the pigeons in Central Park, while Dad is lost in “boring Daddy talk,” and before you know it—LUKE IS ON THE LOOSE! He’s free as a bird, on a hilarious solo flight through New York City.
Harry Bliss, the renowned illustrator of many bestselling children’s books, finally goes on a solo flight on his own with a soaring story that will delight any young reader who has ever felt cooped up. -- Toon Books
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to receive the Fall 2008 line of Toon Books (see my review.) My son and I both treasure these books, and that's a very good thing because I read them to him all the time! I can't tell you how many times we've read them, but he's still laughs like a nut each and every time. So I was very excited when I received a package with two more of these Toon Books -- THE BIG NO-NO! and LUKE ON THE LOOSE. Both books are part of the Spring 2009 line and will be released in May 2009.
If you're not familiar with Toon Books, they are a line of comics for young readers. TOON Books' Editorial Director Francoise Mouly (who is also Art Editor of The New Yorker) and Advisor Art Spiegelman (author of the Pulitzer Prize-winner MAUS) introduced these books for young readers in Spring 2008. These books have since received loads of terrific praise. Schools are even beginning to use these comics in the classrooms as part of their reading curriculum.
THE BIG NO-NO and LUKE ON THE LOOSE were very similar to the other TOON books that we've read. Since they are in a comic book format, they have loads of pictures with lots of color and are jam-packed with action. There are few words on each page so the early reader won't get easily frustrated; and there is also lots of word repetition -- perfect for a young one who is learning to read. Another huge benefit is that the stories are filled with humor which definitely keeps my little guy interested. Take a look at some sample pages from LUKE ON THE LOOSE to get a better idea of how wonderful these books are!
These books will certainly appeal to kids ages four and up, but I love how they will especially appeal to young boys. Sadly, young boys often times just aren't interested in reading as girls of the same age. I think these comic books will definitely help to bridge that gap. I can see how these comics would encourage even the most reluctant reader to pick up a book.
I LOVE these books and look forward to reading them many more times with my son. I appreciate how he enjoys the stories now (at four years old), but I know that he will also love these books as he begins reading. I highly recommend checking these books out if you have a young child who is learning to read!