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Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka Paperback – October 2, 2008
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More About the Author
Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, has the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world. Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, Louis, his registered nurse mom, Shirley (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), Mad Magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn...are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?" I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own. Jon met up with Lane Smith around 1986 or so, and nothing has been the same since. Their first book, the wiseguy fairy tale retelling, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! was initially rejected by most publishers as "too weird" and "too sophisticated". Published by Viking in 1989, The True Story has now sold over a million copies, been translated into ten languages, and been called a "classic picture book for all ages". Jon and Lane's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) took the world of the picture book a few steps further. Goofing with the conventions of fairy tales and even being a book, The Stinky Cheese Man became a household word, sold another mess of copies in multiple languages, offended a few purists, and still managed to win a Caldecott Honor medal. Math Curse (1995) further stretched the notion of what subjects make good picture books, selling more books faster than either 3 Little Pigs or Stinky Cheese, and winning a whole slew of awards --all for a book full of mathematics.More recently, Jon and Lane have resurrected fables (in the smart, funny, and a little bit wicked way Aesop would have wanted them) in their latest collaboration, Squids Will Be Squids (1998). No telling where they might take the picture book next. Someone once wrote, "Jon Scieszka has forever changed the face of children's literature." And while there is still some confusion over exactly who that someone was, and whether children's literature does, in fact, have a face, most would agree-from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to Squids Will Be Squids, since Scieszka put pen to paper, children's literature sure has been...different.
Top Customer Reviews
We also love the book he edited, Guys Write for Guys Read, full of great authors that boys/men and the women who love them like to read.
To call Jon Scieszka's book "Knuckleheads" self-indulgent wouldn't be entirely incorrect. However, you'd miss the greater value this family scrapbook offers to young or expectant parents - anyone considering the daunting task of raising two or more boys.
Scieszka himself is the second-oldest of six boys. And like a card game of Slap Jack, he flips from one childhood memory to another. He doesn't dwell on any one topic, nor does he attempt to defend or analyze his behavior.
I called this book a family scrapbook and that's the fairest description for 38 chapters in 108 pages. Chapter titles serve either as how-to lessons for young boys or what-to-watch-out-for cautionary tales for parents:
Chapter 2: Who Did It?
Chapter 10: Watch Your Brothers
Chapter 16: Brothersitting
Chapter 32: Stop Breathing My Air
"Knucklehead" is a humorous quick read with a comic book cover design that makes it an eye-catching coffee table book. Better yet, consider giving the book as a baby shower gift, especially if the parents already have one son.
Some "potty" humor may turn off girls, but this book is aimed straight at the reluctant boy readers Scieszka is targeting with his Guys Read initiative. A joy to read, this delightful book is a must-have for all public and school libraries and makes a great gift for adults as well as kids.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a mom of a kindergarten aged boy each time a "lego/hero" book comes home I read it begrudgingly. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Erica colvin
As a school teacher, I am always on the look out for books that will engage even my most reluctant readers. Jon Scieszka is one of my go-to authors for just this purpose. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah Ortloff
This book is highly engaging and full of laugh out loud humor. I teach fifth grade and they fight over who gets it next! Great memoir from an awesome writer.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fun boy memoir, but I read out loud. 8 year old not interested enough to read on his own.Published 6 months ago by NJBeth
Really gives the nostalgic feel of growing up in a time without all the warped technology....when kids could just be kids. I recommend the audiobook version (2 cds, easy tracking)Published 19 months ago by Annointed & Obscure
These were great stories about the six Scieszka brothers' adventures, while they were growing up. I couldn't read them without laughing, and I felt a sense of nostalgia as I... Read morePublished 19 months ago by K. Spangler