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An Anaconda Ate My Homework Hardcover – July 28, 2009
From Publishers Weekly
Imagination and a backpack full of gear trump uncreative paperwork in this high-energy comic book-style escapade. The story opens in a classroom where pale, gray-haired "Mr. Crumbundle, known to some as Crummy," overloads his students with homework. Digby stuffs the assignment in his yellow backpack on his way out. "But, as luck would have it," Digby's eventful trip home precludes Crummy's after-school plan, as Digby and his silent sidekick, a resourceful green frog, are plucked from the sidewalk by a "Gigantic Repulsive Raptor," swallowed by an anaconda and captured by a gorilla. Fortunately, Digby carries a treasure trove of items (bubblegum, party balloons, a basketball) that save him at every turn. Renier (Spiral-Bound) favors a sinister ink line reminiscent of cartoonist Charles Burns's work, and he loads every millimeter of space with activity. Schertle's (Little Blue Truck) exposition and voice-bubble dialogue keep the hair-raising, humorous adventure at a fever pitch ("Guts 'n' innards! Yuck!" Digby shouts from inside the snake). Digby's exploits put "the dog ate my homework" to shame. Ages 4-8.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—When Digby complains about a lengthy homework assignment, Mr. Crumbundle promptly tacks on an additional 10 pages for him. On his way home, the boy is snatched up by a gigantic repulsive raptor, swallowed by an anaconda, and tossed around by a playful gorilla. Each time he finds himself in danger, Digby finds the solution to his problem in his seemingly bottomless backpack. Riding on the back of a rogue elephant, he eventually arrives at the Oval Office, where his homework is officially canceled by presidential order. Schertle's over-the-top text and zany situations will appeal to children who enjoy the similarly frenetically paced adventures in Jon Scieszka's "Time Warp Trio" series (Viking). Renier's colorful cartoon art lends a graphic feel to the offering. Numerous text balloons supplement the narrative, and the action is displayed in boxes with varying directionality throughout. Far too much is happening to make this suitable for group presentation, but it will certainly find its audience.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ END
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I watched a friend read this book to his 4 year old daughter. It was while just listening to it that I realized how the story, the text itself is a little weak, but she sat there quiet and still and looking carefully at each page. I liked the idea that this is the kind of book she can "read" on her own. The full page, full color pages are entertaining on their own. I hope to find more books illustrated by Aaron Renier.