Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: Artsy-Fartsy by Karla Oceanak, illustrated by Kendra Spanjer

*review copy provided by publisher*
Artsy-Fartsy stuff is what Aldo's grandmother tells him to use his new sketch book for.  Aldo isn't sure if he wants to draw in the book, though, after being made fun of at school for his art.  But, he gives it a try, keeping track of what happens over the summer, including a mysterious contributor to his book.  Mr. Mot, Aldo's neighbor, encourages him to also write some interesting a-words in the book as well.  Maybe he'll be able to try a little artsy-fartsy stuff.


Things I Liked:
It was a fun book, like getting a glimpse at a ten-year-old's view of life.  The humor was fun, the illustrations added to the humor, and the addition of interesting a-words makes it even educational.  I think tweens and younger kids will get a kick out of this, and probably incidentally learn new words too.  Even the definitions at the end were fun to read (instead of being dry and boring).  I particularly liked this part:

"Right away Jack made such a bug-eyed, squinched-up face that I started to snort-laugh.  THat made the potion come shooting out my nose, which was kind of a good thing because I couldn't taste it as much.  But it was a bad think, too, because now I had brown booger-potion dribbled down the front of my shirt." p 62
Things I Didn't Like:
It isn't quite as fun as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, having a touch of the "written by an adult" feeling that those books tend to not have - particularly the end.  Also, I think that it might have made me look at definitions if they were on the same page as the word.  I didn't once flip to the back to check a definition.  I read them all at the end.   But, I think it will appeal to kids who really liked the Diary books, who like to draw, or reluctant readers.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I haven't heard about this one-it looks fun! Thanks for sharing. Might be a good one to give my tweens looking for more Wimpy-Kid books, although I do think some of them don't quite match the humor of that series.

  2. Never heard of this author before. Is it a pure child humor?

  3. GreenBean, I haven't found any that really have the humor that Wimpy does. Maybe someday...

    Naresh, I would say it is definitely child humor. Stuff that kids think is funny and might laugh about (though, some parents might get a chuckle, since the humor at times is old-fashioned, but not really "adult" in nature).

  4. wow...it reminds me of good old days when even the most simplest of jokes would be so amusing at times. thanks melissa

  5. Oh, very much. Silly things become so very humorous when we were younger!


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