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Arnie, the Doughnut (Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut) Hardcover – April 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Laurie Keller, creator of the wonderful picture books The Scrambled States of America and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, cooks up a rather silly story about a doughnut who narrowly escapes his doughnut fate. Arnie is proud to be chocolate-covered, with bright-colored candy sprinkles. His first day on the planet is a big one. He is 1) cut into a ring 2) deep-fried 3) cooled 4) iced 5) sprinkled and 6) named Arnie. What he doesn't realize is that step 7 is being eaten by a human. So, when a customer, Mr. Bing, starts to put him in his mouth, he screams, "What are you doing?" Arnie is further crushed when he calls the bakery to warn the others only to discover that all the other pastries are "aware of this arrangement." Unfortunately, this delightful plot twist is soured by the contrived ones that follow. Mr. Bing decides that in order to get his money's worth from Arnie he can pretend the doughnut is the dog he's always wanted--a doughnut-dog that will roll over, play fetch, etc.: "He went through a short phase of chewing on the furniture and barking at the mailman, but after a crash course in obedience school he graduated first in his class." However half-baked the story turns out to be, the funny asides and captions that Keller sprinkles throughout the book are often brilliant and the busy, crazy paintings are lots of fun, too. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Similar in style and format to Keller's Open Wide (Holt, 2000), this fun-filled adventure takes readers to a bakery. A chocolate-covered doughnut serves as guide, describing each of the steps involved in the creation of various confections. Poor Arnie, however, is clueless as to why people buy tasty treats, and when he is sold to Mr. Bing, he is shocked to discover his fate. Refusing to be eaten, he devises numerous reasons why he should remain whole and ways that he might benefit his new owner. The story becomes quite silly, as both characters think of ridiculous alternatives to the traditional role of a doughnut. Arnie suggests, "I could be your chauffeur," and Mr. Bing replies, "But you can't see over the steering wheel." Then Arnie volunteers to be a bodyguard, and Mr. Bing quips, "Who could you protect me from-a cookie?" In the end, the pastry is substituted for a pet and becomes a "doughnut-dog," doing tricks, attending obedience school, protecting Mr. Bing's abode, and becoming his best friend. Done in acrylic paints and collage, the cartoon artwork flows all over the pages, showing a multitude of details and amusingly bizarre drawings. Filled with offbeat humor, this fantasy spoof also highlights Arnie's optimistic, can-do personality. Kids will eat it up.
Rita Soltan, formerly at Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805062831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805062830
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Keller is a children's book author and illustrator of 8 books including The Scrambled States of America, Arnie the Doughnut and Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners which was Amazon.com's #1 Editors' Pick on their Best Books of 2007 List. Her latest book is the first in an early chapter book series, The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit. When Laurie isn't busy making books or traveling, she enjoys spending time outdoors at her Michigan home, hiking in the woods, playing banjo, cross-country skiing or splashing in Lake Michigan. You can find out more about Laurie at her website, www.lauriekeller.com (see attached diagram to learn how to draw Arnie the Doughnut!).

Customer Reviews

Every time I read to my son's class, this book is always the one my son begs me to read.
867-5309
The illustrations are vibrant, eye-catching, and of course, Keller adds charming little comments throughout this delightful story.
J. A. Davis
I have bought this book before and love it I enjoy reading it and the older children love to read it a very fun book!
Cathy Jeffries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Julia L. George on May 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Well, here we are again with a funny, fun-to-look-at and fun to explore book. She has received a magnificent review by the New York Times and best of all, my grandkids and my friends grandkids give it a 5 star rating as well. When I first heard about her new subject I was in doubt about where she could take this idea. I will never question again. This one is a real lesson on life and guess what? The kids get it. Highly recommend you read it, too, and see if you are as smart as the kids. Loved it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Arnie is a most unusual donut, in that he, of all the donuts, is the only one who objects to his purpose in life -- being eaten! A great story for anyone who has ever resented having their life directed by someone else. Very funny, with lots of little jokes scattered throughout the pages -- don't forget to read the inside front and back covers, too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Davis on August 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Who else could envision life as a doughnut but Laurie Keller? The story is wonderfully wacky as it follows Arnie the Doughnut's discovery about his creation and, unfortunately, his destiny to be eaten. I disagree with some of the other reviewers on here who say the next part (how Arnie finds a way to become useful, therefore saving him from his fate) is ridiculous. That's the best part of this book - its off-the-wall humor. Remember, this is written for CHILDREN, who (as we all know) have fabulous, and sometimes ridiculous, imaginations. The illustrations are vibrant, eye-catching, and of course, Keller adds charming little comments throughout this delightful story. A must read for all ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jonesjonesy on September 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We own "Scrambled Stated of America" and bought this one sight unseen. You will not be disappointed with this book. Laurie Keller has a neat sense of humor and she writes on two levels at the same time. You'll enjoy this book as much as your children. Make sure to read all the little side comments throughout this book -- they are what make it a 5 star read!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Arnie the Doughnut is a wondrous shaggy-dog story in which the title character comes to understand that "that's what doughnuts are for--to eat" only after he's been purchased. Discovering that his creator and his fellow doughnuts are not only aware of this atrocity but are also cheerful, willing participants, Arnie resigns himself to this ultimate fate. However, Arnie's purchaser Mr. Bing is no longer comfortable with this prospect but does not want to be wasteful. In an ironic twist, man and doughnut make their way to a joyous cohabitation that enriches both of their lives. Keller masterfully blends acrylic paints, collage, and metafictive elements to create hilarious characters with whom audiences of all ages will connect and find themselves emotionally vested in their futures. The myriad of value-added features ranging from puns, labeling the setting, diagrams of the protagonists' emotional state, and double-page spreads with a full bleed that are mimetic of Animé chase scenes with their jarring surreal images in the periphery are almost overwhelming as they hasten the pace of the plot and create a raucous, claustrophobic mood which is only broken by the montage in which Arnie is nearly eaten. Although children will howl at the sheer silliness of the book's self­-awareness, high school students can appreciate Keller's tale as an accessible introduction to irony.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen E. Langrehr on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Checked this book out from the local library & we all loved it so much that I have ordered a copy for my kids for Christmas. It's just so funny & quirky--you'll never feel the same going into Krispy Kreme again. I can't wait for Laurie Keller to put another book out there! COntinued success to her!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mom-of-two on January 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
my children checked this book out at the local library - thinking of dear old mom who LOVED donuts...when i was reading it to them the humor was apparent, but the irony of the direction the story was taking did not hit me until the moment that Arnie realizes his purpose in life. i was laughing so hard that i was afraid to turn the page because i KNEW what was going to happen to him...my children were so tickled, fits of laughter broke out and we weren't even 1/3 through the book...which should have been a clue that it would end different than i suspected. it made me laugh so hard, i brought the book to my "corporate america" job the next day to share a good laugh with co-workers. Arnie was our new hero. Thank you for the great read and a very well needed DEEP laugh!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guinness Castle on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Our 3-year old daughter insisted we read this book over and over and over again. Three weeks straight -- naptime & bedtime. She thinks "Nice to eat you --- I mean meet you!" is the funniest line ever set to print. There's so much going on in this book that you can never read it the same way twice. Great side illustrations for the adults and even lessons for the kids. The apple fritter sure learned her lesson, didn't she? Hands down the best book we've ever bought for our daughter, on the level of Olivia and Curious George.
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