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The Laugh Stand: Adventures in Humor

Overview

When the clock strikes one, a fun-loving mouse runs up the clock. But what happens when the clock strikes two? A cat gets hungry for mouse-tail stew . . . and the chase is on! Hour by hour, more animals - and even a few people - join in. The crowd charges into the barnyard, dashes through the kitchen, and eventually heads right into the middle of town. Keep your eye on the many clocks in this book and follow along until this twelve-hour race comes to a surprising end!

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Overview

When the clock strikes one, a fun-loving mouse runs up the clock. But what happens when the clock strikes two? A cat gets hungry for mouse-tail stew . . . and the chase is on! Hour by hour, more animals - and even a few people - join in. The crowd charges into the barnyard, dashes through the kitchen, and eventually heads right into the middle of town. Keep your eye on the many clocks in this book and follow along until this twelve-hour race comes to a surprising end!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Part of the Math Is Fun! series, this intro to telling time has a familiar beginning (“Hickory dickory dock,/ a mouse ran up the clock”), but things soon take a dramatic turn. When the clock strikes two, a farm cat awakens and pursues the mouse, and additional barnyard animals (as well as a family of farmers) join the chase each hour. Just when things have calmed down (“Hickory dickory dell,/ by midnight, all was well”), the clock strikes one once more, and it looks like the chase may begin again. A concluding note offers some time-telling basics. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
You think you know the rhyme. Harris does start with the familiar phrase: Hickory dickory dock. But this is not the same hickory you know. "Hickory Dickory doo, the grandfather clock struck two. It woke the cat, who sprang from his mat, hungry for mouse-tail stew. Hickory dickory dee, the short hand pointed to three. ‘I'll search the house to find that mouse in time for my afternoon tea.'" The book romps through the next time-telling rhyme where each of the hours draws another animal or person into the chase. The cat goes after the mouse. The dog goes after the cat. The bees go after the dog. The hen goes after the bees, and so on. The fun illustrations, rhythm and rhyme are spot on. And always, there is that clock. Harris introduces different clock faces to show different styles of hands as well as digital clocks. She also uses an afterword to explain telling time in a bit more detail. This book can be read again and again in the time-telling unit. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Getting kids interested in various parts of English will not be a problem when this humorous book is added to the classroom curriculum. The book sections, thirteen in all, cover topics such as anagrams, puns, "daffynitions," diagramming, obfuscation, and more. Bug-eyed cartoon characters dress up the pages with plenty of extra humor. Fun puns called "Tom Swifties" contain an adverb of manner. Here is just one hilarious example: "‘I've just washed my bedroom window,' Tom said clearly." A section about "Spell-Czech" utilizes combinations of letters that form one pronunciation, and a chart and pictures with letters underneath allow students to decipher words in the section. Jokes, rhymes, and pangrams also add to the language fun. The format, using short sections, plenty of illustrations, and humor geared to the middle grade kids, makes this a necessary tool to pique interest in English and to help students enjoy language. Sections may be used alone to reinforce lessons, or the book can be used as a whole for readers ready to get a kick out of the text. The author, whose work includes the "Words are CATegorical" series, has a knack for producing humorous and educational text. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A playful expansion of "Hickory, Dickory Dock," this picture book centers around the concept of a cat chasing a mouse through the hours of a day. "Hickory dickory doo, the grandfather clock struck TWO./It woke the cat, who sprang from his mat,/hungry for mouse-tail stew," and the race is on. Some of the rhyming verses are awkwardly constructed ("Hickory dickory date,/at EIGHT, they ran through the gate./The farmer's son/said, 'That looks fun./I'm coming too. So wait!'"). Expressive mixed-media illustrations display a gleeful mouse swinging on the clock chimes while a sleepy feline dozes on a nearby rug, and then highlight the ensuing chaos as other animals and people join the pursuit. The ending shows a very tired mouse and cat catching their breath as the clock strikes one in the morning. A thoughtful afterword offers a two-page explanation about the difference between digital and analog clocks and how to tell time, and challenges readers to find the various clocks featured in the illustrations (e.g., a cuckoo clock, a pocket watch, and a digital stove clock). Keith Baker's Hickory Dickory Dock (Harcourt, 2007) is a better constructed albeit calmer rendition of the nursery rhyme.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Harris's latest math-concept book (Splitting the Herd, 2008, etc.) expands "Hickory Dickory Dock" into a 12-hour romp throughout the farm. The mouse's problem? Why, the cat, of course. "Hickory dickory doo, the grandfather clock struck TWO. / It woke the cat, who sprang from his mat, / hungry for mouse-tail stew." And so the chase begins. Each turn of the page reveals that another hour has passed and another member has joined the pursuit. Readers can track the time on the diverse clocks-from cuckoo and grandfather to church tower and digital. Scanning well, this would work well for read-alouds, although the smallish trim size will limit the size of the group. Backmatter includes some facts about clocks and teaches children how to tell time by the hour on both digital and analog clocks. Hartman's characters are full of personality-the cat is high-and-mighty while the dog is just plain loopy. Her colors reflect the passing of the day, getting increasingly darker as the sun disappears and the characters become sleepier. With its emphasis on the hours, this has great potential for the youngest audiences. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Trudy Harris has a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Art from Brigham Young University. She currently teaches kindergarten at Temple View Elementary School in Idaho. She has written a number of books in the Math Is Fun! series. Carrie Hartman graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design with a degree in illustration. Her illustration work includes editorial, children's books, advertising, posters, greeting cards, comic books, stationery, animation projects, and murals. Carrie lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. She has 1 amazing husband, 2 pretentious pets, and 3 incredible children.

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