Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review #113: Bad Island

Gracie (age 11):  "Bad Island" is a good book about a bad island.  And it's a book about a good family with bad kids.
Dad:  Hmmm... any resemblance to our family?
Lily (age 8):  We kids aren't totally bad.
Dad:  What was the family like at the beginning of the book?
Lily:  They didn't spend much time together.  They didn't like to be with each other.  They were whining and they were yelling things like, "Don't touch my petunias!" and "I want Pickles!"
Gracie:  Oh yeah - Pickles!  The little girl in the book is obsessed with animals, and she carries around this dead snake named Pickles.
Dad:  Would you carry around a dead snake?
Gracie:  I wouldn't carry around a dead snake OR a live snake.
Isaac (age 13):  I'd carry around a snake so I could make Gracie kiss it.
Gracie:  And I'd bite your eyeball!
Dad:  You'd bite Isaac's eyeball?
Gracie:  No actually, I wouldn't bite his eyeball.  That's just the first words that came out of my mouth.
Dad:  So tell us what happens to this family...
Isaac:  They go on a boat trip, and they get stuck in a really bad storm.  Their boat smashes on this island, so they are trapped.
Lily:  In the middle of the sea.
Gracie:  It's a bad island that is really creepy.  They have to survive.
Isaac:  The island has lots of aliens and creatures on it.
Gracie:  There are a whole bunch of creepy monsters... which is like, really cool.
Lily:  "Creepy" plus "Islands" equals "Cool."
Isaac:  Something starts tracking the family...
Gracie:  It's a triangle-headed lizard guy.
Elijah (age 6):  He's Gumby.
Gracie:  He looks just like Gumby -- he's green, he's naked, and he has no buns.  Only he's darker green than Gumby, and he's scaly and ugly.
Dad:  Evil Gumby.
Gracie:  The book switches back and forth between telling you about the time of the bad island and the time of the creepy-alien-space-guys.
Elijah:  These big whisker-monster-creatures were fighting these flying-crab-octopuses.
Dad:  Elijah, you love monsters.  I bet your favorite part of the book was all the creatures.
Elijah:  I didn't want you to stop reading, ever.  My favorite creatures were probably those guys with the spear-staffs.  They say "Mo."  Or "Mo-Mo."  Or "Mo-Mo-Mo."
Lily:  The Mo-Mo's are evil.
Elijah:  They look like pancake-pillow-people with horns.
Gracie:  They are creepy little Poptart Men.
Isaac:  Poptart Men?
Gracie:  They remind me of chocolate poptarts with evil brains and spears.  Someday I'm going to draw a Mo-Mo eating a poptart.
Dad:  How about you, Isaac?  Did you have a favorite monster?
Isaac:  The Tree Monster is so cool...  Its mouth is not on the front of the bark -- it rips out from inside the tree... the tree itself rips open in half to make its mouth.  So cool.
Gracie:  Creepsters.  But the creatures aren't all bad.  Not the baby rock creature.
Lily:  The baby rock creature was the adorable of the adorables!
Gracie:  I would want one for a pet.  Then I would have a protector that had grown to love me.  The rock monster can't help it if he looks scary when he grows up.
Dad:  So you said the family had problems at the start of the book.  How about after they went through all the adventures together on the island?
Lily:  Then they felt happy with each other and loving toward each other.
Dad:  So was it a good thing that they went to the bad island?
Gracie:  It was a bad thing, but it happened for a good reason.
Dad:  Isaac, you and I have read lots of other graphic novels by this author as well.  Is there anything you can think of that is similar from book to book?
Isaac:  They're all awesome.
Dad:  Yeah, but are there any elements that you would say define Doug TenNapel's books?
Gracie:  Tentacles???  His last name is Tentacles!?!
Isaac:  "TenNapel."
Dad:  Although "Tentacles" would be pretty appropriate for the kinds of books he makes.
Gracie:  Because he's an octopus?
Dad:  No - because he makes awesome creatures.
Isaac:  That's one of the things I like most about his books.  They all have really cool creatures and robots and aliens.
Dad:  Well, any last words?  Anything you want to say to Mr. TenNapel about his new book?
Gracie:  Sorry I called you an octopus.

Janie, Pickles, and a Mo-Mo, by Lily

creatures, by Elijah

tree monster, by Isaac

the Bad Island bunch, by Gracie

Author/Illustrator: Doug TenNapel
Published, 2011: Scholastic
Like it?  Here it is


Beth said...

It's neat that you still read to the whole crowd. We have problems that the 13 year old sneaks the book and finishes it, and then he wants to read his own book instead. We've gone back to picture books for family read times.

TenNapel looks like an author to check out.

Nina Crittenden said...

BADISLAND looks like a GOODBOOK! Though I am afraid to read it a little is there is an Evil Gumby....
Happy New Year to the Z-Bunch!!! :)

Amy said...

I popped by from the comment challenge - you and your kids obviously have so much fun reading together! I love it!

Magdalena Ball said...

Now that is one fun, innovative book review! I've seen a review in verse but never one in dialogue. I love the way you engaged the whole family into the process (and I still read to my 9 and 12 year old, though my 14 y/o won't let me now...)

Joanna said...

Brilliant book review! What a creative family! You're an inspiration!

Katy Manck, MLS said...

I sure would like to be at your dinner table when y'all have a book discussion!

Doug Tennapel's Ghostopolis has nifty monsters & creatures, too - take a peek at my recommendation here:

And look for Dave Roman's Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity for some zany graphic novel fun:

Can't wait to see what book the Bookie Woogie gang tackles next! (found you through MotherReader & Lee Wind's Comment Challenge)

Tammy said...

Just discovered you through the Comment Challenge- your family book review had me laughing out loud. I'm sold on the book and your blog. I'm now happily following. Thanks :)

Heidi Noel said...

Another good one to check out. What would i do without Bookie Woogie?

Dorine White said...

I love the way you reviewed this book- a whole family effort.

Jackie Castle said...

I've stopped by your blog before and love how you include your whole gang in the book review. Too funny. And cute.
Keep up the great reviews.
Stopping by today as part of the comment challenge.

Anne Duguid Knol said...

I'm also dropping in as a result of the comment challenge. A truly joyous experience. Great reviewing and I love the illustrations and unexpected voice-over which pulled me firmly into the family circle.

Russ Cox said...

That was a fun book review!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Thanks for the review! And I am very impressed with the artwork! They did a great job. :)

JenFW said...

Oh, my. What a FAN-super-TASTIC format for a book review! Complete with art!

Oh, yeah, adding this to my reader.

And for the record, Gracie, if my brother tried to make me kiss a snake, I just might bite his eyeball.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I really LOVE how you did this review - the family discussion, and the FAN art! Awesome! Thanks as well for being part of the 2012 Comment Challenge!
Keep on commenting,