Big Mean Mike

( 1 )

Overview

A laugh-out-loud funny story about not worrying what others think ? even if you?re big and tough, and your friends are fuzzy and cute.

Big Mean Mike is the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He has a big, mean car that he likes to drive around the big, mean streets. Everyone knows that Mike is big and mean, and that?s just the way he likes it. But one day a tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up in his car. Mike can?t believe it! Before anyone can see, he puts the bunny down ...

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Overview

A laugh-out-loud funny story about not worrying what others think — even if you’re big and tough, and your friends are fuzzy and cute.

Big Mean Mike is the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He has a big, mean car that he likes to drive around the big, mean streets. Everyone knows that Mike is big and mean, and that’s just the way he likes it. But one day a tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up in his car. Mike can’t believe it! Before anyone can see, he puts the bunny down on the sidewalk and drives away. When the tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up again — and this time brings a friend — Mike tells them both to get lost. Big mean dogs do not hang out with tiny, fuzzy bunnies! But gosh, those bunnies sure are cute. . . . From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen and illustrator Scott Magoon comes a comical lesson about how keeping up your image is not nearly as fun as being your own quirky self.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Big Mean Mike, a dog whose spiked collar and leather jacket signal that he’s a serious tough guy, is mystified when wee, innocent, fuzzy bunnies start appearing in his big, mean car. He’s forced to appear in public with them and must endure the scorn of his friends: “Didn’t figure you for the cute and cuddly type,” one jeers. But Big Mean Mike rises to the occasion without losing any of his meanness: “I can hang out with whoever I want! I like these bunnies.... And they’re adorable! Any of you got a problem with that?” Magoon’s (Chopsticks) blocky Mike and his souped-up ride are appropriately dynamic: Mike’s toothy snarl is often front and center, and his muscle car has orange flames and an exhaust system that belches smoke. Knudsen (Argus) offers an uncompromisingly macho version of the defend-your-friends theme, and its cultural references (combat boots, gym membership) and the inherent humor in seeing the bunnies charm their way into Mike’s heart will keep readers attentive—and laughing. Ages 4–8. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
It’s rare to find a book that will appeal to both the lovers of monster trucks and the kids who go into raptures at the sight of a fuzzy little critter; this is that book.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Knudsen offers an uncompromisingly macho version of the defend-your-friends theme, and its cultural references (combat boots, gym membership) and the inherent humor in seeing the bunnies charm their way into Mike’s heart will keep readers attentive—and laughing.
—Publishers Weekly

Even the toughest readers will crumble under the appeal of these bunnies.
—Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When Big Mean Mike, "the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood," opens the trunk of his big, mean car one day, he is surprised to find a tiny, fuzzy, cute bunny. Since big, mean dogs and cute bunnies do not go together, he sets it on the sidewalk and speeds away. The next day, on the way to the gym, he reaches in the glove compartment to discover two bunnies. He angrily puts them outside and drives away as they watch. The next day, three bunnies are on the hood of the car. "Get off...!" Mike shouts, afraid someone might see them with him. He tells them to scram and not come back. But when he drives to the Monster Truck show, he is shocked to find four bunnies in the car. He tries to leave them, but they are so appealing. He hides them in his gym bag. At the Truck Show, Mike finally manages to make peace with himself, the bunnies, and the other dogs. Digitally produced, the illustrations across the double pages are bold and cartoon-y. The focus is on the characters. Mike has a mouth of sharp teeth and an equally threatening collar with spikes. So the contrast of that with both the fuzzy bunnies and Mike's increasingly empathetic behavior is fun to watch. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Big Mean Mike is a dog whose image is not supposed to include fuzzy bunny friends. As the toughest canine in the neighborhood, he wears silver spikes and combat boots and drives a big mean car that makes a lot of mean noises. One afternoon he finds a fluffy bunny in his car and leaves the sad rabbit on the sidewalk eating dust as he peels away. The persistent animal keeps returning with friends until the day of the Monster Truck Show when there are four incredibly endearing bunnies gazing at him. Dropping his macho image for just a moment, Mike gives in to their sweet, pleading faces and takes them in to watch the show. Knudsen has created a tough guy with a soft heart who ultimately chooses his friends despite what others may think and still manages to be himself. Magoon's bunnies are digitally rendered with soft, fuzzy edges but are just as tough on the inside as Mike is on the outside when they growl at the crossbones-adorned bullies picking on their large companion for hanging out with uncool friends. Readers will fall for the adorable bunnies and cheer Mike's new devotion to them. Share this doggedly worthy read-aloud during your favorite friendship-themed storyhours for a lot of growls and laughs.—Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A warning: This book may make you like cute bunnies. Big Mean Mike likes monster-truck shows. This is puzzling, because he's bigger than some of the trucks. Big Mean Mike wears combat boots he bought at a store called Big Boots. Mike, it's worth noting, is a dog, with a spiked collar. Mike should never own a bunny, but small, cute bunnies keep appearing in his sports car. One shows up in his trunk. Another shows up in his glove compartment. To Knudsen's credit, this is never explained. Magoon has made the bunnies exactly as adorable as they need to be. They're never cloying, but they're fuzzy and round, and readers will feel embarrassed for Mike when he has to carry them past his friends, who are wearing muscle shirts and the occasional eye patch. The small details may be the real reason to buy the book. The grille of Mike's car looks like the teeth of a shark. One of the toughest dogs has a cat's skull and crossbones on his shirt, along with the words "HERE, KITTY, KITTY." And every young reader will spot the Batmobile at the edge of a parking lot. When Mike finally learns to love his bunnies, the illustrations have set up the moment perfectly. They look like they belong together. Even the toughest readers will crumble under the appeal of these bunnies. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763649906
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 143,906
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Knudsen is the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book Library Lion, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes; Argus, illustrated by Andréa Wesson; and the fantasy novels The Dragon of Trelian and The Princess of Trelian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Scott Magoon has illustrated several books for children, including If Waffles Were Like Boys by Charise Mericle Harper and Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars by Kara LaReau. Scott Magoon lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    I thought this was a fun little book

    I bought this book for my son for when he gets a little bit older and I think he'll enjoy the cool story of a dog who learns not to care what other people think and be self-confident. The artwork is very well done and the story is entertaining.

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