Monday, December 14, 2009

Review #52: The Happy Hocky Family

Dad:  Today we're looking at "The Happy Hocky Family."
Lily (age 6):  Lane Smith wrote this book!  Lane Smith.  Yeah.
Dad:  Do you know who that is?
Lily:  No.
Dad:  Lane Smith also illustrated--
Isaac:  "Stinky Cheese Man"?
Dad:  You're right!
Lily:  I love that one!
Gracie (age 9):  This book is even funnier than Stinky Cheese Man.
Dad:  Do you know any of the other books Lane Smith worked on, Isaac?
Isaac (age 11):  The other Happy Hocky book.  The sequel.
Dad:  Ha ha.  Yes he did.  What would you say about "The Happy Hocky Family" to people who have never had the pleasure of seeing it before?
Gracie:  It's your loss.
Dad:  What if they go read it now?
Gracie:  Your not-loss.
Dad:  How would you describe the art style in this book?
Gracie:  Average.
Dad:  Average?  What do you mean by that?
Gracie:  Not too complicated.
Dad:  You mean "simple" maybe?  Not average.  "Simplified."
Lily:  Simplified.  I like that.
Isaac:  The pictures are stampy looking.
Gracie:  Pretty much it's just red, yellow, black and white.
Isaac:  The book is a whole bunch of little, tiny stories.
Dad:  Does the style of the writing match the style of the pictures?
Isaac:  They are both simple.
Dad:  Give me an example of what the stories might sound like.
Isaac:  "I like cookies.  Do you like cookies?  I like cookies.  I like my cat.  He is a brown cat.  He fell in an apple pie."
Dad:  Who are the characters?
Gracie:  Mr. Hocky, Mrs. Hocky, Henry Hocky, Holly Hocky, Baby Hocky, and Newton.  Newton is their dog.
Dad:  Tell me about the kids in the family...
Gracie:  Henry and Holly are the brother and the sister.  And I want a "tomato ketchup" shirt!  Henry's got a shirt that says tomato ketchup on it!  The Hocky family is so lucky.
Isaac:  Henry and Holly are trying to get back at each other over and over again.  They are archenemies.
Dad:  I wouldn't say they are enemies.  Remember - they play together nice with their toys.  Are they just like brothers and sisters that tease each other?
Lily:  Yes.  Just like what Gracie does to me.
Dad:  What does Gracie do to you?
Lily:  She teases me.  She calls me a "Lumpy Monkey."
Gracie:  Hee hee HA heehee heeee...
Lily:  Tah, hah Ha ha ha...
Gracie:  But she is though!
Lily:  YOU are a Lumpy Monkey!
Gracie:  No you are.
Dad:  Alright, what about Newton?
Isaac:  Newton is a dog.  And that dog has eye problems.  His eyes are totally opposite sizes.  One is little and one is huge.
Gracie:  They are the exact same size - look.
Isaac:  No they are not...
Gracie:  That's his spot.
Isaac:  That's a spot?
Gracie:  Yes!
Dad:  He has a ring around his eye.
Isaac:  I thought it was an eyeball!
Gracie:  Ha ha hah hah ha...
Dad:  That would have been a huge eye.  What else can you say about Newton?
Isaac:  Well, his mouth is like a duck-mouth.
Dad:  Newton didn't have too many stories in this book, did he?
Isaac:  He got eaten.
Gracie:  By a crocodile.  There's a crocodile's mouth, and Newton's leash is leading into it.  But then he got thrown up.
Dad:  Well, we don't know if he got thrown up...  But he does reappear at the end of the book.  Now, which is your favorite story in the book?
Gracie:  I like the Baby Hocky stories.
Dad:  Baby Hocky is definitely the best, huh?
Gracie:  Baby Hocky rocks!  Peace out dude!  Peace out Baby Hocky!
Dad:  What does that even mean?
Gracie:  I have no idea.
Isaac:  I like Baby Hocky.  He's cool.  Or she.
Gracie:  Me too.  Awesome.  And I have a question for Mr. and Mrs. Hocky.  Why do you call him Baby Hocky?  Doesn't he have a real name?
Dad:  Tell me about Baby Hocky.
Gracie:  He's always looking at the best of things.
Isaac:  He's an optimist.
Dad:  Oo!  Big word, Isaac.
Isaac:  Most of his stuff gets half-destroyed.  Half-ruined or destroyed.
Gracie:  Every time he's proud of something -- then it gets ruined -- then he says "Look at what I've got."  Like, once his balloon popped, and then he says "Look, now I've got a string!"
Isaac:  I want a string!  I'm going to pop my balloon so I can get a string too.
Lily:  And his white coat gets splashed with oil, but now he has a white hat!  It is awesomeness.
Dad:  Does Baby Hocky get upset when the candy apple yanks his tooth out?
Lily:  No.  Because he's got a tooth for the tooth fairy!
Isaac:  I wonder if I've had a candy apple?
Lily:  I'm always glad when I get a tooth out.  I had a tooth for the tooth fairy last night!
Dad:  Lily has a tooth for the tooth fairy practically every night!
Isaac:  I want a candy apple!  I've never had a candy apple.
Dad:  Maybe that's what we need to do, Lily, when you have your teeth hanging there for so long...  we'll just give you a candy apple.
Lily:  Yeah!
Gracie:  Baby Hocky has a huge belly button.
Lily:  And he only wears diapers.
Gracie:  Baby Hocky doesn't have a nose.
Lily:  And the only one without a neck is Baby Hocky!
Isaac:  That's true.
Lily:  Everyone else has stick-necks.  And the baby doesn't have any neck.
Gracie:  They are stick figures.
Lily:  And everyone has red ears.
Dad:  They do.  I never noticed that.
Gracie:  They have bloody ears.
Dad:  Ew.
Gracie:  Probably because Holly's red ants bit all their ears.
Dad:  Wonderful.
Gracie:  They should make Baby Hocky plush toys.  They would be awesome.
Dad:  Maybe his tooth would be detachable.
Isaac:  There could be a red string stuck to it.
Dad:  Ew.  That's what Lily's teeth look like when they won't come out, hanging from tooth guts.
Gracie:  I love you Baby Hocky!

Baby Hocky likes seals and Newton likes crocodiles, by Lily

crocodile x-ray, by Isaac

and a new Baby Hocky story by Gracie:"I have 2 pets!  Do you have 2 pets?  I have 2 pets!"

(the elephant is spooked by the mouse)

(the elephant bolts...)
"I have 1 pet!  Do you have 1 pet?  I have 1 pet!"


"I have 2 collars!  Do you have 2 collars?  I have 2 collars!"

Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Published, 1993: Viking
Like it?  Find it


Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Gracie seems to be on a roll today. We loved her Baby Hocky story.

Swati said...

The new baby Hocky story is hilarious!

Bluestocking said...

This is so funny!

morninglight mama said...

HA! Two collars are wonderful things to be had. Love the optimism. :) Another great discussion review, guys!

Carrie said...

Love the crocodile x-ray picture. That's amazing and awesome! I just HAVE to harp about that one. =)

Kelly said...

Great review, I love this book too, I read it to my kids (ages 2 & 3). And Gracie that is an awesome baby hocky story.

ElizT said...

No dull moments in your house!
Next door to me lives a cat called Fenton. He has a crooked tail.[ And I know that these facts are totally irrelevant.]

Nina Crittenden said...

Ah, the birth of an early graphic novel! Go, Gracie!

C T said...

The story about the collars is awesome!