Bug Blonsky and His Very Long List of Don’ts

E.S. Redmond. Candlewick, $15.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8935-3
Benjamin “Bug” Blonsky, an impulsive seven-year-old who “spend[s] a lot of time in the quiet chair thinking about my choices,” stars in this mischief-stuffed early reader. Bug’s more than 20 rules of things to avoid (“#13 Don’t ask Principal Sternsly if she was pretty when she was young”) frame his school day as it unfolds, and his reader-directed second-person narration turns his story into an extended cautionary tale. Redmond’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations (seen in b&w) feature jug-eared, freckle-faced kids and adults with saggy, caricatured bodies, underscoring humor that often revolves around farts and bad smells; Bug’s teacher, Ms. Munster, is seen bending over when a classmate tricks him into asking her, “Is Uranus the biggest?” Some adults may find the jokes distasteful, but kids will know that Redmond is on their side. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2017
Release date: 01/02/2018
Genre: Children's
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