Honey Badgers

Honey Badgers

5.0 1
by Jamison Odone
     
 

"I get along well with honey badgers," says the protagonist of this story. After all, he was raised by a pair of them. Protected by his adoptive parents, who represent the most fearless species on the planet, this boy has nothing to fear as he eats (only flowers) and drinks (spring water) and sleeps (in a den) and plays (with kites made of ferns). In this

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Overview

"I get along well with honey badgers," says the protagonist of this story. After all, he was raised by a pair of them. Protected by his adoptive parents, who represent the most fearless species on the planet, this boy has nothing to fear as he eats (only flowers) and drinks (spring water) and sleeps (in a den) and plays (with kites made of ferns). In this nonsensical picture book, first-time author Jamison Odone navigates a boldly wild and unabashedly strange style. Radiant, exotic, spooky illustrations highlight the unorthodox sequence of the protagonist's statements that explain his bizarre life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Odone's debut book makes a deep bow to Maurice Sendak, with its somber palette and heavily crosshatched, pen-and-ink and watercolor wash illustrations. But the affectionate, dreamy text is his own. "I get along well with honey badgers," the boy narrator begins. "In fact, I was raised by a pair-Maurice and June. They are good parents," he adds. On the opposite page June, in a warm red overcoat, holds out her arms to a naked, Sendak-style foundling. (Honey badgers are carnivorous African mammals, making Maurice and June's solicitousness particularly heartwarming.) Telegraphic sentences on the left-hand pages ("We have a small stream nearby to sip from") accompany framed pictures on the right; here, the boy and Maurice, sporting warm sweaters to ward off the chill, drink on hands and knees, surrounded by a forest of gnarled trees. Visual references to myth (empty boats), fallen civilizations (Mayan stone sculptures), and wealth and education (velvet drapes and leather-bound books) give the story elegant resonance without weighing it down. "It is late now," the boy says. "I think I'll go to bed." Maurice and June stand guard as he sleeps under an enormous canopy. Odone, tapping into a powerful vein of fantasy (what child would not rush to move into a cozy den with two gentle, furry parents?) has created the kind of book certain children will cling to, years after they abandon the rest of their picture book collections. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
A young boy lives an unusual life; he has been raised by Maurice and June, a pair of people-size honey badgers who found him in a basket. While they eat snakes, he eats flowers, and drinks from a nearby stream. He admits it is "a bit odd." But a friend of his lives with a pair of creeping beetles. He feels that that is "absurd." The brief, simply told narrative, a single sentence per page, makes the absurd seem normal. Our narrator ends by going to a regular-looking bed, watched over by his anthropomorphic, sweater- and coat-clad parents. Single-page scenes framed in green exude an air of mystery. There are touches of twisted tree trunks and bits of stone statues that remind us of the work of Edward Gorey, and even of Sendak's sunflowers. Engaging sketchy illustrations use muted colors to create oddly appealing honey badgers and a charming young narrator; they seem to suggest far more than they describe, leaving the reader to build a more extensive personal narrative. Note the red end-papers and black cloth cover with blue spine contrasting with the paper jacket.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932425512
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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