Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Funny

Inspector Flytrap and the Big Deal Mysteries by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell

Cover image for Inspector FlytrapInspector Flytrap is a venus flytrap (that’s a plant that eats insects) on a skateboard, who solves mysteries with the help of his sidekick, Nina the Goat. They only take “Big Deal” mysteries, like the case of a mysterious blob on a famous painting or a single giant stinky shoe! This book has mysteries that need to be solved, but also a lot of funny parts like Nina eating everything in sight or the mysteries too small for Inspector Flytrap to take.  The first in the Inspector Flytrap series is a fun and quick read, especially for someone just starting to read chapter books. You might also like it if you’ve read other books by Tom Angleberger (like Origami Yoda) or Cece Bell (like El Deafo). The second in the series is already out, so there’s a lot to enjoy!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

The Big Book of Superheroes by Bart King

Cover image for The big book of superheroesThis is not a book about Superman, Spiderman, or the Hulk. This is a book about how YOU can be a superhero. What do superheroes need? Well, there are chapters about choosing a superhero name, discovering your superpower, finding a sidekick, dressing like a superhero, and more. Each section is sprinkled with hilarious comic panels, as well as fun facts and anecdotes about famous superheroes, from Thor to the Incredibles. You may particularly enjoy the “Superpower Activity” sections that instruct how to create costumes and props, hone your super skills, or perform a “Sidekick Test” on your friends. There is even a chart to help you pick your superhero name.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

Cover image for Dory FantasmagoryIntroducing Dory, better known as Rascal. This six year old has an imagination like no other and it can drive her older brother and sister crazy. Luke and Violet think Dory acts like a baby and won’t play with her. To get her to shape up, they tell her a story about a pretend Mrs. Gobble Gracker coming to take her away unless she stops acting like a baby. However, their plan only kicks Dory’s imagination into overdrive.  Dory’s hilarious antics to escape capture by Mrs. Gobble Gracker include banana peels, a sleeping dart, one very special soup, and pretending to be a puppy, even at the doctor’s office.  Will Dory find a way to win her siblings attention in the end? Black and white drawings really bring Dory’s imagination to life in this excellent choice for new chapter book readers or family read-a-louds.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Cover image for The day the crayons quitThis book is adorable.  Duncan goes to get his crayons out at school one day and finds a stack of letters.  Each one is written by a different color crayon. Each has his reasons for needing a break.  Red feels over used because of holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Gray doesn’t like to have to be used for such big animals like elephants and hippos. Black doesn’t like being use for outlining things while the other colors are used to fill in. Of course there is drama as well. Yellow and Orange crayons are arguing about who should be the color of the sun and are no longer speaking to each other. I love how Duncan makes all the crayons happy in the end.

 

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen  

Cover image for ChompTo those that enjoy a book with lots of action and reptiles:  this book is for you! Wahoo is a normal middle-schooler living in Florida with his parents. What’s not normal about him is that his dad is a professional animal wrangler, and they have Alice, an alligator, living in their backyard. Once his dad suffers a freak accident, Wahoo needs to assist his dad with wrangling animals for the filming of a survival reality show. It turns out the reality show star, Derek, is a self-absorbed jerk and is incredibly difficult to work with. Things get even more hairy once Derek goes missing in the swampy Everglades. It’s up to Wahoo and his dad to locate the reality star in the wilderness, but a gun-toting man makes a dramatic entrance and makes the stakes suddenly much higher.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Cover image for The true blue scouts of Sugar Man SwampBeing a swamp scout in the Sugar Man Swamp is not an easy job. Just ask Bingo and J’miah, the newest raccoon swamp scouts. Bingo and J’miah are in charge of making sure the swamp is safe and if there is a danger, the need to wake up the Sugar Man who is a cousin of Bigfoot. When Bingo and J’miah hear a rumbling in the distance, they know it’s time to wake the Sugar Man. Can the Sugar Man save the swamp and all the animals that live there? Find out in this really great book. Each chapter is told from different points of view. If you’re looking for a fun read or have already read The One and Only Ivan, this might be the next book to choose.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt

Cover image for Rhyme schemerIf you liked Love That Dog, you’ll love Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt, another verse novel from the perspective of a boy who says he’s not crazy about poetry… but his cleverly-written stanzas tell us otherwise. Kevin rants about a bully at school, his complicated family, and just about everything that is going wrong in his life. One way he deals is by masquerading as a sort of poetry bandit, anonymously plastering the school with torn out pages of library books, on which he’s circled, blacked out, and doodled on the letters and words to compose a poem. If Kevin is found out, the kids would make him “King of the School,” but on the other hand he could also get himself suspended.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald

Cover image for Charlie Joe Jackson's guide to summer vacationIf you don’t already know who Charlie Joe Jackson is, the first thing he’ll tell you is how much he hates to read and the lengths he has gone to in the past to avoid reading, including bribing his best friend with ice cream sandwiches to read books for him. So how did he end up at a summer camp for kids who love to read? Well, in a moment of weakness, Charlie Joe agreed to go to Camp Rituhbukkee to make his parents happy. So now he is stuck away from most of his friends at camp for three weeks where most people don’t act anything like him. At least there is basketball, and for once Charlie Joe is the best player on the team! Fans of Origami Yoda, Big Nate, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will want to check out Charlie Joe Jackson.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo

Cover image for Leroy Ninker saddles upIf you like Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series you will love this spin-off.  It stars Leroy Ninker, a wanna-be cowboy, who works at a drive-in theater.  When his co-worker mentions he has everything he needs to be a real cowboy except the horse he answers a want ad looking for a buyer of a horse “really cheap”. Well, it is love at first sight.  Of course, Leroy has no idea how to take care of a horse so the adventure begins.

 

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

Cover image for ZombiekinsIn Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger, fourth-grader Stanley Nudelman stops by his creepy neighbor Imavitch’s yard sale. There he ends up buying Zombiekins, a creepy stuffed animal that looks part bear, part bunny, and part zombie. After failing to read the directions, Stanley unknowingly unleashes Zombiekins at his school turning classmates into the undead. Nowhere in the school is safe from the plush terror! Stanley has to find a way to stop Zombiekins and turn his classmates back into less terrifying versions of themselves before it’s too late and all the teachers notice the school is full of zombies. Can he do it? Read this story that is equal parts funny and frightening to find out! You might also want to check out the cool black and white illustrations throughout the book.

Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian