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Bone: Tall Tales Hardcover – August 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8 This installment introduces Big Johnson Bone, the explorer who founded Boneville. A fearless Davey Crockett-like character, he defeats a cave bear when just a baby and grows up to best all manner of beasts, including a pack of ratlike creatures intent on taking over the forest. Big Johnson's recklessness in the face of danger results in much humor, as does the commentary of his terrified, sarcastic monkey companion. Smith's quick wit shines through in the exchanges between Johnson and his companions. The colorful art is jam-packed with action, and the characters are enhanced with exaggerated features and movements. The story moves quickly as Big Johnson falls into one predicament after another. This addition to the Bone saga will keep readers of the series happy and create new fans. Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Now that Scholastic has completed its colorization of the entire Bone series, including the prequel, Rose (2009), fans get this little collection of bite-size morsels to savor as they await with bated breath the first book in a new Bone trilogy due out this fall. A couple new stories lead into the centerpiece, which was first published as Stupid Stupid Rat-Tails by Smith’s Cartoon Books in 1999. This yarn follows the legendary founder of Boneville, Big Johnson Bone, and his adventures in the Valley, where rat creatures are threatening the cuddly forest denizens. The stern-jawed, brawl-ready Big Johnson doesn’t quite have the lasting personality of Fone, Phoney, or Smiley, but his hilariously offhanded heroics and nearly delusional coolheadedness in the face of danger (“This reminds me of the time I was nearly consumed by the voracious Hungrisaur! There I was, buck naked . . .” he says as he is swallowed by an enormous rat creature) make for unswervingly entertaining reading. Pretty much an essential purchase for collections that house Bone, which should be all of them. Grades 6-12. --Ian Chipman
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting of "Tall Tales" begins in a forest area, possibly in or outside the city of Boneville. Smiley and Bartleby are shown going camping with three young Bone scouts; Ringo, Bingo, and Todd. As they sit around the campfire, Smiley tells the three Bone kids stories. The first (being the Disney Adventures short) tells the story of when Phoney and Fone Bone went off to do their laundry, but when Phoney goes looking for treasure, they go on a short, wacky adventure, which ends with an unexpected discovery... The second story is a piece of new material (designed to tell the readers a bit about the background of Big Johnson Bone, founder of Boneville), and chronicles the birth of Big Johnson Bone and his first great adventure as he defeats Old Man Winter. The third story tells of when Big Johnson Bone attends a eating contest, but becomes infatuated with his opponent, the Cobbler Gobbler. Now, the three scouts, Smiley, and Bartleby head off to bed, but one of the Scouts (it is not mentioned whether the Scout is Ringo, Bingo or Todd) picks up Smiley's "Big Hat" (which he uses as sort of a symbol to represent that he is in charge) and wears it as he sleeps. The fourth and final story then begins (being the "Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails" miniseries reprint), and tells the story of Big Johnson Bone and his epic adventure in The Valley as he helps a group of woodland creatures battle the sinister Rat Creatures. It is revealed that this is a dream that the Bone scout had while he wore the hat, and he begins to feel uneasy, before finally returning the hat to Smiley's tent as "Tall Tales" comes to a close.
The book itself is absolutely fantastic. The hardcover binding is impressive and very durable and comes with a dustcover, while the book pages are made from a strong, plastic-ish type of paper. Even though I preferred the black and white printings of the series, the colour adds more of a fun feeling to the book, and is particularly attractive to young children. Filled with lots of cute animals, cool scenes of comedic action, and very humourous dialogue, this is an installment of the "Bone" series that you simply must have. If you had a problem with the standard "Bone" series because of the smoking, sexual references, etc., you will not with this one (something I noticed that was interesting was that Smiley isn't smoking cigars), since it's almost completely child-friendly and free of any adult attributes. Additionally, the book features a short preview to the upcoming novel series, "Quest For The Spark".
"Tall Tales" is yet another amazing book from Jeff Smith's multi-award winning, critically acclaimed, best-selling "Bone" series. "Tall Tales" is gripping, light-hearted and ridiculously hilarious, and will take you on a 108 page journey through forests, fairs, and even stomachs! Overall, a ten out of ten.
These stories are short, fun and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For what its worth, I recommend it.