Richard Was a Picker

Overview

Richard picks his nose, until one day he discovers the perils of his habit. When his finger gets stuck up his nose, Richard panics. Then his nose sucks up his arm. Before he knows it, all of him slides up his nose. Richard has become a giant booger. He propels his booger-ball self out of his house. But as he rolls down the sidewalk things get worse, way worse. Soon the whole town is chasing after him and jabbing at him. Will Richard be poked to pieces? With some quick thinking and a little luck, Richard avoids a ...

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Richard was a Picker

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Overview

Richard picks his nose, until one day he discovers the perils of his habit. When his finger gets stuck up his nose, Richard panics. Then his nose sucks up his arm. Before he knows it, all of him slides up his nose. Richard has become a giant booger. He propels his booger-ball self out of his house. But as he rolls down the sidewalk things get worse, way worse. Soon the whole town is chasing after him and jabbing at him. Will Richard be poked to pieces? With some quick thinking and a little luck, Richard avoids a terrible end.

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Editorial Reviews

BookLinx
"Fun for kids [who] savor a good gross-out...Hodson's illustrations...[are] deliciously slimy...Beck has a flair for funny phrases (and alliteration), so why not read it aloud (even at Halloween)? Lots of fun."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Beck's verse is rollicking and suitably revels in the repulsive topic...Hodson's illustrations are a delight—silly, slimy and exuberantly coloured."
Sal's Fiction Addiction blog
"EWWW! GROSS! You can just hear it from all those kids who love any book that makes adults cringe. Take Richard, for instance....please! How can kids love a guy who picks his nose and creates 'castles, farms and zoos' from his ooze? Well, if you know kids, you know that is exactly what will happen. In the hilarious words from Carolyn Beck's pen and the grossly exaggerated images from Ben Hodson's acrylic paints and colored pencils, you will find yourself reading a funny, mucilaginous story to overattentive young listeners. Everything that you, as an adult, find abhorrent, they will find hilarious and heartwarming...The story moves quickly and rhythmically from start to finish. Even adults will giggle at some of the antics; kids will find them grossly delightful! The artwork is a perfect accompaniment to the text, showing green boogers in all their glory as they vandalize the town and its people. With the final denouement, listeners will see that Richard has learned a lesson, while everyone else must deal with the aftermath of that learning."
The Horn Book Guide
"A bouncy, rythmic text...Entertaining for fans of gross-out humor."
Booklist
"Hodson's sticky green acrylics-and-colored-pencil illustrations hearken back to the anything-for-a-gag Garbage Pail Kids gross-outs of the 1980s and really take off when Richard is completely sucked into his own nose and becomes a giant ball of mucus…Icky for sure, but that's the whole point."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"Richard was a picker,
With his finger up his nose.
It's quite a nasty habit
As most anybody knows.
...
The concept is kid-friendly
In a gross, disgusting style.
The pictures are hilarious and sure to make you smile."
Resource Links
"Beck's rhyming text vividly describes the exaggerated quantities of bright green snot seen throughout this book and the panic Richard endures when he becomes 'stuck'...Oozing all over the pages of this book, [Hodson's illustrations] will elicit variations of YUCK and UGH from the audience. Fun vocabulary (gooky, clabbery, old Mrs. Rappertaffy) and entertaining animals add interest to this story. Readers, with a strong stomach, could share this humorous tale with children who are learning about hygiene, bad habits or the importance of good manners."
Quill & Quire
"An orginal, funny, gooey, and even heartwarming new picture book…Beck's imaginative poetry [ ] is fast-paced and will have adult readers laughing along…Hodson's illustrations are brilliantly done. Kids will love how he splashes every page (including the cover) with enormous green boogers that actually draw readers in instead of repelling them. To Richard's peers, he's merely a picker. To the reader, however, he's a young artist shunned for his craft."
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Richard's rhymed story is filled with the gross details that both disgust and delight young readers. Richard not only picks his nose constantly but also brings forth enough goop of various kinds to construct everything from castles to submarines. But one day, to his horror, Richard discovers that he cannot get his finger out of his nose. Soon, bit by bit, all of him is sucked into his nose and is stuck there. The sticky blob that is his inside-out nose then rolls along, picking up people and things and chased by a crowd of townsfolk. Stopped finally at Ed's Spice Shop by plan, Richard's nose gives a mighty, "AAAH-AAH-CHOOOO...!" Richard emerges, Booger Boy no longer, but as the final double-page scene depicts, leaving the people totally covered in the green slime. Acrylics and colored pencils create the scenes dominated by the clumps of green stuff and characters depicted in cartoon style with bulging eyes and exposed teeth. Perhaps there is a lesson here for nose-pickers along with the comedy. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Booger Boy, as the neighbors not-so-affectionately call him, is unable to stop his horrible habit. Richard even creates elaborate snot-nosed dioramas with his strands of green glop. His nasty nose-picking fascination turns disastrous, though, when his finger permanently sticks up his nose and the rest of his body follows suit. The child-turned–giant-blob-of-mucus rolls through the town, collecting objects, pets and even a baby in his uncontrolled slime and attracting an angry mob. A nearby shop's spicy aroma produces a welcome sneeze, spewing out the drenched youngster and resulting in a yucky comeuppance for the harpoon-carrying locals. Though uninspired, the rhyming text clearly bounces along. "He looked like a booger, / a big gloopy blob, / an ooey, gluey goobery glob." Bright acrylic-and–colored-pencil spreads frame stocky cartoon sketches; round, googly eyes dominate each face. Saturated in disgusting descriptions, this vile offering pointedly targets boys of a certain age, and the gross-out humor will surely elicit plenty of eews along the way. Mission accomplished. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554690886
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Beck first learned about letters when she was five. Right away she liked them. They make interesting sounds, like the s-s-s-sneaky S, the punchy P and the bouncy B. And best of all, in bunches they make WORDS!
(Carolyn also discovered numbers and liked them too, but that is another story.) Carolyn lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Ben Hodson is an artist who loves a good adventure, like hiking the Rocky Mountains with rescued wild burros, living in a mountain village in Nepal, or drawing comics with youth in South Africa. These experiences bring inspiration and new perspectives to his craft. Ben illustrates mostly for children in books, magazines and textbooks.

Ben is the 2004 recipient of the Glass Slipper Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Canadian Conference. He does presentations and workshops at local schools and libraries. Ben lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife May and his daughter Zoe. Please visit his website at www.benhodson.ca.

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Read an Excerpt

Shoulders, chest, knees and toes—

the rest of Richard slid up his nose.

Richard was in

his half-picked snout,

which was completely inside out.

He looked like a booger,

a big gloopy blob,

an ooey, gluey, goobery glob.

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