He Came with the Couch

He Came with the Couch

4.5 7
by David Slonim

Sophie's family has found the perfect couch, but it comes with something extra, and getting rid of that extra something is impossible. In the end, though, who would want to?

This zany tale of upholsterosis (a chronic state of couch-potato-ness) is sure to tickle the funny bones of young readersand not-so-young-readers too!  See more details below


Sophie's family has found the perfect couch, but it comes with something extra, and getting rid of that extra something is impossible. In the end, though, who would want to?

This zany tale of upholsterosis (a chronic state of couch-potato-ness) is sure to tickle the funny bones of young readersand not-so-young-readers too!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nothing says comfy like a couch. But what if the family sofa comes with a wacky-looking blue creature instead of a decorative pillow? Such is the dilemma faced by a family in this quirky picture book. When young Sophie's overzealous pup, Roscoe, chomps up the old couch, the search is on for a replacement. Dad finds the perfect model at the rummage yard even though a blue Muppet-like fellow seems permanently attached to it. Back at home, Sophie's family can't get any response from the guy-who, doctors say, suffers from extreme "upholsterosis," the ultimate couch-potato state-until an urgent situation arises and the family's new blue buddy saves Sophie from harm. Slonim's (Oh Ducky! A Chocolate Calamity) multimedia paintings are both silly and clever in their depiction of a boisterous, take-charge clan. (Laugh-out-loud parental efforts to chase away the unwanted guest include a plunger pull, scraping fingernails on a chalkboard and playing the bagpipes.) Sophie's wild blond hair and bright eyes render her an endearing kid. And by book's end, Roscoe's teething tendencies ensure material for a sequel-even if it's one just imagined by readers. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The family needs a new couch. After a long day of futile searching they spot one they like. But who is that strange creature who seems to be stuck on it? Sophie, our curious narrator, wants to keep him. Her dad says "no," but the silent fellow will not leave. The doctor suggests that for his "acute case of upholsterosis" he needs to "get out more." But after unsuccessful trips to the Grand Canyon, the beach, and Washington D.C. they decide they will just have to get used to him there on the couch. They are soon glad, for one day, when Sophie falls from the tree, he pushes the couch out the window to catch her. When it is time for a new chair, he comes along, and meets a new strange character who "comes with the chair." The brief, tongue-in-cheek text leaves plenty of room for the oil-paint, pencil, and ball-point-pen comic illustrations which provide the emotional content. The bulbous blue-headed character remains with even mouth immobile until the end when he manages a slight smile. The family, meanwhile, expresses depression, consternation, and—in one scene complete with bagpipes—wild desperation. The family dog does the damage that causes the need for the new couch in the beginning. Near the end, it is the chair that is in tatters, necessitating the new chair—complete with orange-hued round-nosed female decked in pearls. Silly fun for sure. 2005, Chronicle Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Sophie's family needs a new couch. After a full day of searching, they finally find one that is just right. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it comes with an odd-looking creature that just sits in the middle of the cushion. Resembling one of Jim Henson's Muppets, the creature, readers learn, suffers from "upholsterosis" and on doctor's orders that they get him out more, the family takes the sofa and the newcomer on a cross-country journey. Slonim's very funny picture book will appeal to children with a taste for the zany. Told from Sophie's point of view, the understated text is often at hilarious juxtaposition with the illustrations. The colorful artwork will appeal to fans of David Shannon's work as will the tongue-in-cheek storytelling. Libraries looking for a book that generates laughs need look no further.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sophie's family needs a new couch and finally finds one at Larry's 24 Hour Rummage. However, a strange figure comes with it: The "thing" has a blue head and feet, a shock of purple hair and a tuberous yellow nose. Although Sophie wants to keep him, her parents say "No," except they can't budge him. The doctor says it's an acute case of "upholsterosis" and he needs to get out more. So off they all go, couch in tow, to the Grand Canyon, the beach and Washington, D.C., but he never leaves the couch, until back home, when Sophie falls out of a tree, he tosses the couch out the window to break her fall. The wacky illustrations are a vehicle for the brief text that relies on the textured oil-paint-and-pen-on-linen artwork to educe the silliness, exaggerate the quirkiness and add goofy details like the couch sitting at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. Sophie looks to be more boy than girl, though her name is the one clue. This shaggy-dog story about a "couch potato" might amuse some, but overall, this is more of a dud spud. (Picture book. 5-7)

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Product Details

Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

David Slonim is the author-illustrator of Oh Ducky! and the illustrator of Emily and Albert by Jan Ormerod and Moishe's Miracle by Laura Krauss Melmed, which was a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he lives in Indiana with his wife and their four children. His daughter, Mary, was the inspiration for the character of Sophie in He Came with the Couch.

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He Came with the Couch 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
book4children More than 1 year ago
This quirky tale is pure enjoyment. You will love the story of Sophie and the thing that came with the couch. He won't leave. This story is humorous, with illustrations that are just as goofy as the words. This is a favorite in our house.
janstan1 More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a little toy store while on vacation in Colorado. I bought it to give to my husband and 24-year old son as a special gift to thank them for sticking with me during a particularly trying year. I love the message behind the story in this book. I love the illustrations. I would recomend this book for readers of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amateur More than 1 year ago
Love the illustrations-- tugs on your heartstrings. love this book
Georgette More than 1 year ago
We originally checked this book out at the library along with several others. What an unexpected surprise! We loved it so much we bought a copy before we had even returned the library's book. It has become one of our "family classics" and will remain in our collection long after we've parted with most of our other children's books.

The illustrations are adorable and beautiful. The story is about an odd creature that "comes with the couch" the family finds at a junk yard. Though the creature is unwanted by the parents at first, he saves their young child from a dangerous fall and in doing so becomes a welcomed member of this quirky and charming little family.

This is one of the most wonderful children's books I've ever encountered. I highly reccommend it.