Monday, April 20, 2009

Review #24: Pssst!

Dad:  Today we're looking at "Pssst!" by Adam Rex.
Gracie (age 8):  Adam Rex!  We love Adam Rex!  He's one of our favorite authors!  And illustrators.
Lily (age 6):  Yes!  This book was my pick today!  Pssst!  Pssst!
Dad:  Why do you like this book so much?
Lily:  I like saying "Psst! Psst! Psst!"
Dad:  And you say it very well.
Isaac (age 10):  It's like you are trying to get someone's attention quietly.
Gracie:  Psssst!
Lily:  Pssst!
Dad:  You are squirting me...
Isaac:  Just so you know, almost every single page has "Pssst" on it.
Gracie:  The story is about a little girl and all the animals of the zoo.
Dad:  Does the girl have a name?
Gracie:  Adam Rex.
Dad:  Adam Rex?
Gracie:  Ha hah ha hee hee hee!
Isaac:  It's a girl!
Gracie:  Madame Rex!  It's Madame Rex!
Isaac:  When the girl --
Gracie: (interrupting)  Madame Rex.
Isaac: (continuing)  When the girl got to the zoo, she heard a "Pssst!"  She went over and met an animal.
Gracie:  The gorilla.
Lily:  All the animals wanted something, and she had to get everything they asked for.
Isaac:  The animals kept doing it over and over and over again -- going "Pssst!" and asking her for stuff.
Gracie:  After answering the gorilla's request, she couldn't let down the other animals.
Isaac:  They wanted tires, a comfy chair, flashlights...
Lily:  Even a wheelbarrow.
Dad:  We won't tell everyone why they wanted them.  We won't give away the surprise.  But it was for a secret reason, wasn't it.
Gracie:  Yeah, they kept tricking the girl.
Lily:  Pssst!
Gracie:  Every animal keeps going "Psst!"  "Psst!"  "Psst!"
Isaac:  It's strange to hear an animal talking to you.
Dad:  The story keeps repeating the same pattern over and over.  First there's a page of her...
Gracie:  Walking.
Dad:  Then she hears a...
Lily:  "Pssst!"
Dad:  Then...
Isaac:  An animal asks for some stuff.
Gracie:  Walk!  Talk!  Walk!  Talk!
Isaac:  You forgot the "Pssst!"
Gracie:  Walk.  Psst.  Talk.  Walk.  Psst.  Talk.  Walkpstalk!  Walkpstalk!
Dad:  Tell us about the pictures...
Gracie:  When anyone in the background who is not a main character is talking, they are just drawn in outlines.  And when they are talking, it's just little white speech bubbles with nothing in them.  And if anyone doesn't know what a speech bubble is, you should go ask your parents.  I don't know how to explain them.
Dad:  There are lots of little sight gags spread all around the book.
Isaac:  It's funny in the very beginning because there's a sign that points: this way for tickets, this way for gorilla cage, this way for Page 4, this way for peacock -- and the peacock is standing right in front of the sign!  If the peacock moved somewhere else, the sign would have to change every single second!
Gracie:  Why is there a sign on this other page that says, "Please don't shake the narwhal"?
Dad:  Would the narwhal like it very much if you shook him up?  He's in a snowglobe.
Isaac:  I want one of those narwhal hats.
Dad:  "Spork."  I want a spork shirt.  Wouldn't that be cool?
Isaac:  What is it for?
Dad:  I don't know.  That kid in the picture just has a shirt that says "spork" on it.  It's so random.
Isaac:  Aww, cool.  I want a spork shirt!
Dad:  Wouldn't that be fun?
Isaac:  Yeah.  I'm going to make one!
Dad:  Then you would be the coolest kid ever.
Isaac:  I want to get a narwhal hat and a spork shirt.
Dad:  Why do you think there was a hippo inside the cave with the bats?
Gracie:  Hee heee heee ha ha haaa ah haaa!
Dad:  Look at the girl -- she's freaked out!
Lily:  She's freaked out because hippopotamuses are one of the dangerousest animals in the world.
Gracie:  We learned that on the Nature Channel.
Lily:  Because they have sharp teeth.
Gracie:  And they're mean.
Lily:  And they fight each other with their teeth.
Isaac:  I think I know why there is a hippopotamus in the cave.
Dad:  Why?
Isaac:  There was a hippopotamus in his hippopotamus cage.  And he saw some yummy food in the camel cage.
Dad:  What are you talking about??
Isaac:  And when he went in the camel cage, it was getting too bright for him.  So he had to find someplace dark.  So he headed over to the bat cave...
Dad:  My, that is a very interesting theory.
Isaac:  Now I'm going to tell you how the baboon and the tortoise became friends.
Dad:  Make it quick.
Isaac:  The tortoise was in his tortoise cage.  And he loved ice cream...
Dad: (laughing)  What in the world -- You're gearing up for an epic tale...  let's save this for another time.
Gracie:  Ha ha ha!  No!  Tell the rest!
Dad:  Anything else before we wrap up?
Lily:  At the end, when the girl brings the things to the animals, it looks like real stuff.
Dad:  Yeah, the illustrations use real photos.
Lily:  She took it out of magazines.
Dad:  The girl did?
Lily:  Well, she cut it out.
Dad:  She did?
Lily:  I mean, He!  Adam Rex.
Gracie:  He is Adam Rex.  She is Madame Rex.
Isaac:  This is a really good book.  My favorite page is the one where the kid has a "spork" shirt.
Gracie:  Haa ha ha haa!  You really want that spork shirt don't you?
Isaac:  What?  It's cool!

the hippo hangs out in the bat cave, by Isaac

the duck wants a vase for his flowers, by Lily

And a series of pictures by Gracie:
"Pssst!" Huh?

...the bird wants a skateboard. "Psst!"

...the possum wants a rocket. "Psst!"

...the mouse wants some glue.

What the...? Yikes!

And are you ready for this?
Isaac cobbled himself together a spork shirt:

Author/Illustrator: Adam Rex
Published, 2007: Harcourt
Like it? Find it


Heidi Noel said...

Nice shirt. I am sure you could make money on that one, Isaac. In fact, I want one now.

Andy said...

Man, my wife beat me to it. I want the shirt too.

(can you tell this blog is popular at our house?)

Swati said...

I want this book!

Sherry said...

That is one stylin' shirt. So jealous!

ElizT said...

Funny book, great pictures.
[Psst! My word verif. is 'norses']

Unknown said...

Great review as always! I liked the illustrations from the cover myself. We'll have to check this one out.

I like the Bookie Wookie illustrations as well.

Alicia said...

Sounds like a great book, and I look forward to your Kids' Picks interview every month. Your kids are amazing!

Alysa Stewart said...

Love it! I have a book suggestion for you, too. It's Inside the Slidy Diner by Laurel Snyder. I mentioned you guys in this review of it!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

Psst sounds funny! Here is mine.

Beings in a Dream

Cynthia said...

Great review! Sounds like a fun book.

Jennifer said...

I love this book! Every time I read it to a class I have to be firm that during the story I am the only one saying "Psst!". Otherwise, kids will say it constantly and nobody can hear the story. They make up for it by saying "Psst!" during the entire checkout time. I feel like I'm being stalked by snakes!