This fall, two titles share more than a promise to deliver laughs—they share a name. Jon Scieszka, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, has taken a break from his Trucktown series to pen Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka (Viking), a reflection on growing up in Flint, Mich., with five brothers. Interspersed with photographs of the Scieszka family, the book offers comic insights, stories and anecdotes about several influences in the author's life, from Catholic school (when a nun asks fifth-grader Scieszka, “What's so funny?” he tells a joke that leaves the class in an uproar) to jokes shared at the dinner table.
Fans of Scieszka's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs may enjoy Knuckle-heads by Joan Holub, illustrated by Michael Slack (Chronicle), which offers pun-laden twists on classic fairy tales. In one story, “Handsel” and Gretel (who have hands for heads and fingers for hair) encounter a witch who lives in a house made of “finger food”; in another, Nose White falls victim to a bunch of dandelions, rather than a poison apple (think killer allergies).
As for which to read first—maybe a game of rock, paper, scissors is in order?