Just Too Cute!: And Other Tales of Adorable Animals for Horrible Children

Overview


Troublesome animals that are just too cute are taking over the real world and their natural habitat! Just Too Cute! presents a mix of playful stories and poems based on adorable yet troublesome animals. Mike Reiss creates an amusing world: a baby seal flops into Tiffany’s mistaking the diamonds for ice and walks out with them; danger-prone dodo birds; a polar bear who swallows up a circus, or two, or three. The moral of the story—all of the characters are “just too cute” to the...
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Overview


Troublesome animals that are just too cute are taking over the real world and their natural habitat! Just Too Cute! presents a mix of playful stories and poems based on adorable yet troublesome animals. Mike Reiss creates an amusing world: a baby seal flops into Tiffany’s mistaking the diamonds for ice and walks out with them; danger-prone dodo birds; a polar bear who swallows up a circus, or two, or three. The moral of the story—all of the characters are “just too cute” to the point of no longer being “cute.”
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reiss (The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share) delivers a witty collection of poems and stories that emphasize mischief. While satirizing overly cute picture books in the title story, Reiss pokes wry fun at adults who excuse the incorrigible behavior of an adorable seal who escapes the zoo (“What a cutesy-wutesy, itsy-bitsy, chubsy-wubsy little guy!”). The humor is often sophisticated but nonetheless child-friendly. In “The Appalling Polar Bear,” the talented protagonist gets a string of jobs, including at the Cirque de la Jerques (“a fancy circus from Paris. Sure it was Paris, Texas, but still it was classy”), but can’t help eating his colleagues each time. While looking for new animal acts, agent Gavin Boloney finds “in France, a snail that could broil himself in garlic butter. Once.” The poems appearing between each story offer additional gross-out humor, but are less successful (“The Oyster” asks, “What is moister/ Than an oyster?/ Grampa’s Pamper/ Can be damper”). In cheerful cartoons that recall 1950s animation, newcomer Yanok keeps up with the madcap plots while adding whimsical details of his own. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Publisher's Weekly, August 30, 2010
"Reiss (The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share) delivers a witty collection of poems and stories that emphasize mischief… The humor is often sophisticated but nonetheless child-friendly…

In cheerful cartoons that recall 1950s animation, newcomer Yanok keeps up with the madcap plots while adding whimsical details of his own."

School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—This book contains a bizarre mix of stories and poems. Each one features a cute but troublesome animal. A "cutesy-wutesy, itsy-bitsy, chubsy-wubsy" seal runs away from the zoo and goes on a crime spree before being thrown in the slammer. A polar bear antagonizes his agent by eating the other performers on stage with him. Another selection explores the fate of dodos who just don't think. Yanok's cartoon illustrations are colorful and bright. They will be appealing to young children, but much of the humor will be over their heads, and one has to wonder about the snide tone of these cautionary tales.—Loreli E. Stochaj, Franklin School, Summit, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Scoring middling-high marks for child appeal if not really delivering on the title's promise, a veteran writer for The Simpsons offers two original tales about bad behavior followed by just deserts and another that celebrates thinking outside the (fashion) box. Separated by flights of "Animal Poems for Beastly Children" ("What is moister / Than an oyster? / Grampa's Pamper / Can be damper"), the stories introduce an escaped New York seal so intensely "cutesy-wutesy, itsy-bitsy, chubsy-wubsy" that it gets away with stealing diamonds from Tiffany's, running up a huge bill at the Plaza and like malfeasance until brought before a near-sighted judge; a bored penguin who decides to wear red rather than black and white and ends up liberating his entire Antarctic flock; and an "Appalling Polar Bear" who keeps eating fellow circus performers until he is in turn eaten by his annoyed agent. Yanok's James Flora–style cartoons give the collection a suitably retro, tongue-in-cheek look. Readers hoping for some rougher cautionary mayhem will be disappointed, but try this on James Proimos fans. (Illustrated fiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762435241
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 56
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author


Mike Reiss, primarily a film and TV writer, is best known as a former head writer for the popular animated sitcom, The Simpsons. He spent nineteen years on the show and won four Emmy awards. He is also an author of nine other children’s books, some of which include, Santa Claustrophobia, The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, and How Murray Saved Christmas. Mike lives in New York City with his wife.

Johnny Yanok’s main interests include Halloween, Disney World, and anything mid-century modern. He has won two Spectrum Awards for the best in contemporary art. He is the Art Director of Johnny Yanok Graphic Design Illustration and has been a graphic designer for American Greetings for more than eleven years. Johnny lives in Akron, Ohio.

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