Good News, Bad News

Jeff Mack. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0110-1
Mack’s clever book may follow the format of Remy Charlip’s Fortunately, Unfortunately, but his take on the theme is flat-out hilarious. Apart from the closing line, the text contains only the four words of the title. “Good news!” says a cheerful rabbit, showing a picnic basket to a mouse seen leaning out of its hole. “Bad news,” says the mouse as rain begins to fall. The rabbit is ready with an umbrella (“Good news”), but the mouse blows away after grabbing it (“Bad news”). Mack’s mixed-media illustrations are both slapstick and droll as the duo fights off bees, runs from a rampaging bear, and gets hit by lightning. When the mouse loses its temper in a two-page tantrum, the rabbit’s spirits finally plummet. Mack (Frog and Fly) portrays the rabbit in a puddle of tears, and amusingly depicts the mouse’s epiphany with the sun breaking through the clouds, as if the book were a Cecil B. DeMille movie. This well-executed, rapid-fire book should satisfy even the most resistant readers. Ages 3–6. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 07/04/2012
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