Cousin Irv from Mars

Overview

From the author/illustrator of Monsters Eat Whiny Children comes a humorous tale about learning to accept your family?even if one of them is an alien.

Teddy isn?t excited about Cousin Irv?s visit. Cousin Irv is too weird. He steals Teddy?s pillow, eats Teddy?s food, and even plays with Teddy?s action figures. Not to mention that Cousin Irv is from MARS. What will Teddy?s friends say?

But it turns out that everyone at school loves Cousin Irv. ...

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Overview

From the author/illustrator of Monsters Eat Whiny Children comes a humorous tale about learning to accept your family—even if one of them is an alien.

Teddy isn’t excited about Cousin Irv’s visit. Cousin Irv is too weird. He steals Teddy’s pillow, eats Teddy’s food, and even plays with Teddy’s action figures. Not to mention that Cousin Irv is from MARS. What will Teddy’s friends say?

But it turns out that everyone at school loves Cousin Irv. Not only is he from a different planet, he can vaporize things! Maybe cousins from Mars aren’t so bad after all...

Illustrated with clever simplicity in New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Kaplan’s trademark style and filled with out-of-this-world whimsy, Cousin Irv from Mars is an interplanetary treat that begs to be shared.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Teddy is bummed out when his mother tells him that Cousin Irv is coming to visit from Mars (“We’re not close,” she says) and that he’ll have to share his room with his short, green, antennae-bearing relative. Cousin Irv breathes loudly and guilts Teddy into giving him his pillow: many doctors, Irv says, have told him that he carries “all his stress in his neck.” Although Cousin Irv sounds suspiciously like a middle-aged Borscht Belt refugee (“Those no-goodniks!” he exclaims about Teddy’s schoolmates), he earns the warm regard of the student body when he vaporizes everything in Teddy’s classroom with his electromagnetic ray—including the teacher. From that moment on, Teddy grows fonder of Cousin Irv, who “let Teddy eat pizza in the bath because he didn’t know you didn’t do that.” Kaplan (Monsters Eat Whiny Children) is a stylish, economical cartoonist, but his prose is responsible for most of the jokes, and there are laughs on every page. “I’ve had to go to the bathroom for days,” says Cousin Irv after his long flying saucer journey. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor. (June)
From the Publisher
"Kaplan (Monsters Eat Whiny Children) is a stylish, economical cartoonist, but his prose is responsible for most of the jokes, and there are laughs on every page."

"Clever..."

The New York Times
"Bruce Eric Kaplan’s illustrations here have a similar tone to his cartoons for The New Yorker.... His text is funny too...."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Teddy's odd cousin Irv visiting from Mars is not easy for him to accept. Irv not only eats everything in the kitchen; he eats the whole kitchen as well. Sharing Teddy's room, he breathes so loud that Teddy can't sleep. He wears Teddy's clothes, plays with Teddy's toys, and listens to "horrible music." At school, Irv vaporizes the classroom. But gradually Teddy begins to like Irv. So when Irv says he must go home, the family is sad but accepting. There is a happy ending to the slyly humorous story, however, with comedy generated simply by the situation and sketchy, water colored pen and ink drawings. Mostly blank white pages focus on rather ordinary activities like a party or sharing a book. The few exceptional acts, like vaporizing the classroom, are simply accepted. Check the difference in the front and back end pages for a summary of the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Sometimes relatives are so weird that they seem to be from outer space. This one just happens to be from Mars. When Teddy's mother mentions Cousin Irv is coming for a visit, all he knows is that he lives on another planet. Irv lands and proves to be a bit difficult. He blames Teddy's mother for giving "the worst directions," eats everything in the kitchen--"in fact, he ate the whole kitchen"--keeps Teddy up at night with his loud breathing and listens "to the most horrible music." Kaplan (Monsters Eat Whiny Children, 2010), a veteran cartoonist for the New Yorker and television writer (Girls, Seinfeld), pairs the wry text with spare illustrations executed in pen and ink with watercolor. Things take a turn when Cousin Irv takes Teddy to school. Irv finds out Teddy has no friends and decides to do something about it. The duo causes a stir at school, especially when Irv pulls out "his electromagnetic ray and vaporized a few things in the classroom." The teacher bans the ray gun but as a result is vaporized as well. This spread is alarmingly effective: One side shows a close-up of a blue gun producing green rays, and the other is mostly blank except for a lonely pair of gray heels and pink streaks highlighting where the teacher once was. Soon Teddy finds more to appreciate in his eccentric relative, but then Irv returns to Mars, leaving Teddy quite lonely…until his dad has a change in work assignments. Clever, but the sophisticated humor seems aimed at older readers and adults. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442449237
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,456,617
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Eric Kaplan, known for his distinctive, off-beat single-panel cartoons, has been a New Yorker cartoonist for more than ten years. He is also a television writer and was an executive producer for the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under, as well as a writer on Seinfeld (funnily enough, one of his most well-known episodes is one where Elaine becomes increasingly frustrated over what she takes to be an utterly nonsensical New Yorker cartoon).

He has authored and illustrated seven adult titles for Simon & Schuster: the cult classic The Cat That Changed My Life; the collections I Love You, I Hate You, I'm Hungry; No One You Know; and This Is a Bad Time; and three titles featuring the wonderfully neurotic Brooklyn couple Edmund and Rosemary: Every Person on the Planet, Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell, and Everything Is Going to Be Okay. Bruce is also the author and illustrator of three picture books: Monsters Eat Whiny Children, Cousin Irv from Mars, and Meaniehead. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Bruce Eric Kaplan, known for his distinctive, off-beat single-panel cartoons, has been a New Yorker cartoonist for more than ten years. He is also a television writer and was an executive producer for the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under, as well as a writer on Seinfeld (funnily enough, one of his most well-known episodes is one where Elaine becomes increasingly frustrated over what she takes to be an utterly nonsensical New Yorker cartoon).

He has authored and illustrated seven adult titles for Simon & Schuster: the cult classic The Cat That Changed My Life; the collections I Love You, I Hate You, I'm Hungry; No One You Know; and This Is a Bad Time; and three titles featuring the wonderfully neurotic Brooklyn couple Edmund and Rosemary: Every Person on the Planet, Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell, and Everything Is Going to Be Okay. Bruce is also the author and illustrator of three picture books: Monsters Eat Whiny Children, Cousin Irv from Mars, and Meaniehead. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

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