Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Silly Family

Adding to Katherine Pebley O'Neal and Laura Huliska-Beith's fun and wacky series of picture books, The Silly Family is a book stressing the importance of having a good sense of humor.
The Silly family (mom, dad, and three kids) lives up to their name. They love knock-knock jokes, hand buzzers, and squirting corsages. In fact, they are so silly that when they try to help set up the church picnic, the organizer, Mrs. Albright, isn't sure how much help they can be. But the Silly family works hard preparing tables and decorations until everything is nearly done. But where is Mrs. Albright's table centerpiece of dried flowers?
The faces of everyone in the Silly family drop. Hmmm...could those dried flowers be mistaken for a pot of dried weeds? In their effort to help, they realize they threw away Mrs. Albright's carefully planned decoration. They feel awful. Nothing about this is funny.
Then one of the children sees Mrs. Silly's squirting corsage, and they decide to use it as the centerpiece, instead. All is well...until the pastor leans over to give the flowers a sniff and gets squirted in the eye. The congregation is silent and the Silly family holds their breath. But after a moment, the pastor laughs...and snorts and hee-haws. "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face!" he says. (A rephrasing of Proverbs 15:13.) The congregation laughs along with him, and everyone's glad the Silly family is present to bless all around them.
What I Like: I love O'Neal's clever, fun writing and Huliska-Beith's silly, colorful illustrations. This is a cute book that reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously, and my three year old loves it.
What I Dislike: Younger children probably won't get a lot of the jokes; they may not know, for example, what a hand buzzer is. For this reason, this is not my favorite of this writer/illustrator duo's books.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 4 to 8.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2008; ISBN: 0310709873; hardback; $12.99
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Special Info: Be sure to check out our reviews of other books by this author/illustrator combo.

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