Meaniehead

Overview

New Yorker cartoonist and bestselling author Bruce Eric Kaplan depicts the catastrophic and humorous consequences of sibling rivalry in this companion to Monsters Eat Whiny Children.

Henry and Eve are two perfectly delightful children—who fight about absolutely everything. (They’re siblings, after all.) Their latest sibling spat is over an action figure. Which means it’s serious.

Before too long their house is...

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Overview

New Yorker cartoonist and bestselling author Bruce Eric Kaplan depicts the catastrophic and humorous consequences of sibling rivalry in this companion to Monsters Eat Whiny Children.

Henry and Eve are two perfectly delightful children—who fight about absolutely everything. (They’re siblings, after all.) Their latest sibling spat is over an action figure. Which means it’s serious.

Before too long their house is destroyed. The park is leveled. The whole neighborhood…gone.

Can anything repair this rift? Or will their bickering be the end of the Grand Canyon? And Texas? And the universe?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 04/14/2014
“There’s nothing sillier than fighting about what belongs to whom, but no kids and even fewer adults know that,” observes Kaplan (Cousin Irv from Mars) sagely in this wonderful book about badly behaved siblings. Try telling that to Henry and Eve, whose scowling, luridly colored, rivalry-induced physiognomy brings to mind that guy from The Scream. Henry gets a jackhammer, Eve gets a bulldozer, and pretty soon nothing is safe—not their favorite toy store, the San Diego Zoo, the Grand Canyon, or planet Earth: “They chased each other onto a plane that went to Hawaii. Shortly thereafter, Henry and Eve caused every volcano there to explode. Which in turn caused the world to explode. So now the world was gone.” All-consuming rage has seldom been so much fun; to experience Kaplan’s pokerfaced narration and mordant, minimalist cartooning working in tandem is to understand what great comic timing is all about. Kids, you’ve been schooled. Extra points for a sibling reconciliation that manages to be farfetched, emotionally true, and the farthest thing from sappy. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor. (June)
Booklist
“With deceptive simplicity, Kaplan accurately depicts the classic red-face fight that, ever so slowly, becomes a fellowship of gleeful havoc.... Let the havoc continue!”
The Wall Street Journal
"Mr. Kaplan's brilliantly controlled little cartoons—clever, angry figures stippled with watercolor on a white background—manage both to honor and to mock the inchoate, childish rage that can erupt from the smallest skirmishes."
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-09
Henry and Eve, the constant complainers from Monsters Eat Whiny Children (2010), are going through a "new, terrible phase."The fight is on from the first page, and when the children simultaneously attempt to grab a favored action figure, the defeated one slings the titular moniker at her brother. Kaplan's subsequent aside asserts the philosophy underpinning his plot: "There's nothing sillier than fighting about what belongs to whom, but no kids and even fewer adults know that." It's an extensive rampage. The diminutive ink-and-watercolor caricatures contrast with sterile, white expanses interrupted by a decapitated doll here, a flattened Grand Canyon there, until all that remains is darkness. The pair's eyes are unnervingly vacant; emotional intensity is achieved through dramatic mouth or brow lines and rage-purple cheeks. Despite an escalating vengeance that leads to nihilism, actions are contained within black frames. A temporary truce allows time for a snack. The penultimate scene shows two arms reaching for each other—a Michelangelo moment that mirrors the opening toy disaster but has a gentler outcome. (The endpapers, however, hint that the siblings have not completely reformed.)While most children will be able to relate to the raw frustration that Kaplan so effectively captures, it will take sophisticated readers who are familiar with dark humor to enjoy this over-the-top fable about the consequences of unfettered will. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442485426
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 697,653
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (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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