Cali, Davide. The Truth about My Unbelievable Summer. Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle Books, 2016. Unpaged. $12.99. ISBN 9781452144832. Ages 6-9. P7Q8
I loved this book for its amazing pictures (I really liked the main character who looks like a hipster-kid). The typical back to school question elicits tales of a wild adventure including a treasure map, a trip to the beach, a hot air balloon and an unexpected twist. The story is a tall tale, and left me smiling!
VERDICT: Kids will like looking through this fun story for the wonderful pictures, and every kid will identify with being asked in school about what they did during the summer. The picture book format expands the rich, complex vocabulary of the story, making this a good conversation starter for elementary school students.
January 2018 review by Siletz Public Library volunteer.
Cali, Davide. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School. Chaud, Benjamin, ill. Chronicle Books, LLC 2015. $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-3168-9. Unpaged. Ages 6-8. P9Q7.
Breakfast is a battle. First, enormous ants steal breakfast. Thus, the necessity to borrow bread from the neighbors leaves much speculation with “That wasn’t exactly a good idea…..” The illustrations are thought provoking and could lead to some writing prompts about ideas of what exactly did happen? Evil ninjas, scary majorettes, a massive ape, mole people, unexplained shrinking and growing, a giant blob, a parade of elephants, meeting Little Red Riding Hood and finding the Gingerbread House, following Peter Piper, escaping from a spider’s web, meeting Big Foot and Yeti before helping a farmer sort his ducks and sheep, using champion chess skills to escape from aliens which resulted in an invite in a private jet trip around town. The grand finale is the need to retrace these steps to retrieve a backpack left behind. This is a playful representation of story-telling with a fast-paced, action-packed, laugh-out-loud story about excuses. April 2015 review by Penny McDermott.