Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Larryboy and the Emperor of Envy

My son and I had so much fun reading Larryboy and the Emperor of Envy together. Written by Sean Gaffney as a spin-off of the popular VeggieTales cartoon series, Larryboy and the Emperor of Envy is the first book in Larry's superhero adventure series. Fans of VeggieTales will recognize Bumblyburg, and Professor Bok Choy at Bumblyburg Community College, as well as Larryboy's mentor and assistant, Archibald Asparagus.

Emperor Napoleon of Crime and Other Bad Stuff (a cherry tomato) is plotting to take over Bumblyburg by poisoning the townspeople with an envy formula. When people are envious, they lose their strength The small villain plans to exploit their weakness and throw them all in jail as he recreates Bumblyburg to fit his small stature.

Larryboy is called on to help, but, more often than not, his attempts end in funny mishaps. After he and Junior eat the envy formula in slushees, they are thrown in jail with the rest of the townspeople. There, they must learn to be content with who they are and what they have, in order to regain their strength and overpower the Emperor. They learn "a content heart is a happy heart," based on Proverbs 14:30 "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

What I Like: My family loves VeggieTales, so it is fun to be able to enjoy Larryboy's adventures in chapter book form. These books are fairly short, and the chapters usually end on some sort of cliffhanger, making them hard to put down. They are perfect for readers just delving into chapter books, but they are fun to read aloud too.

The book has a great message about being content and the way it is presented is easy for kids to grasp (as well as a great reminder for parents).

I also love the illustrations. Nearly every page includes shaded, black-and-white ink drawings. They are very clear, bright, expressive and fun--a bit comic-bookish even.

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: Publisher lists 8-12, but I would say kindergarten and up

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2002; ISBN: 978-0-310-70467-6 ; Paperback, $4.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $3.99

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $4.99.

Special Info: This book is also available in Spanish at Amazon.com.

View CCBR reviews of other VeggieTales books here!

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