Humble Bumble

I don't want to brag, but...I think I just found my first 2016 ERIK Award nominee!

*Hillary Griffin's artwork is what really pushed this book beyond the Borrow beehive -- even the relatively spartan back cover image sparked a fun convo between me and my daughter last night
*Author Darren Lurie's message is on point and has been encased within a solid beginning, middle, and end (something that is sorely lacking in a lot of books I review)
*Despite having an all-female primary cast, HB is in no way gender-limited  

*My biggest problem with it is actually something rather small; namely, I think the terms "at dinner" and "at night" totally break up the flow of the Grumble section
*There's obviously a humorous angle to Humble's sister Mumble, but reading her gibberish out loud is next to impossible, so I just make up sounds on those two occasions while my kids look at me like I am having a stroke
*At first, my daughter vehemently refused to open a book with bees on the cover, but once I convinced her otherwise, she has asked me to read it to her multiple times

As you can see, there was very little that bugged me about this title.  It looks and feels great.  Sure, it's no nectar of the gods; but it is honeycomb strong when it comes to overall story construction.  For this reason, in my humble opinion, there's gonna be a lotta buzz around this creative team for years to come!                              

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy

Donald Doing's House of Verbs

I wonder what the insurance premiums are like on a place where things are constantly happening... 

*For the most part, I enjoyed the illustrations done by the team of Cody McGrath and Anna Pan, since they matched the vibrancy (in terms of color and pace) one would expect from a book about action words  
*While author Marianna Shek could have done more with the title character, she does succeed in crafting the eccentric savant readers tend to remember (in the vein of Willy Wonka or Peter Pan)
*Donald didn't need to have those shoes (mainly because they seem super impractical for a man who is constantly on the move), but I'm darn glad he did

*Starts strongly in identifying the core plotline with the snippet about Mr. Neverthere, but really comes off the rails after that
*Normally, I'm all for bonus features in any book I bring home, but, at ten pages of debatably-interesting extra content, DDHV seems to go way overboard in this department
*The story would have been better served fleshing out some more things that Donald liked doing rather than devoting the solitary second page to it (although I realize there are a few more example towards the end, the way it was presented seems like it wants to rush to the things happening in the store without telling us more about the shopkeep himself)


If you asked me to explain what the point of DDHV was, I don't think I could give you an answer in one tightly wrapped box.  To be honest, you could give me a room full of boxes, and I still would have trouble filling them with an opinion, because I don't quite get what kids are supposed to learn from it.  Still, it is no way boring.  For that reason alone, I would never even consider Destroying it.  And so we're left with a no-doubter Donate...  

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy