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The Happy Hocky Family Paperback – September 1, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Paperback, September 1, 1996
$25.11 $0.01

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Step aside, Dick and Jane, or the very hilarious Happy Hocky Family might just run you over. Deftly parodying the repetitious, simplistic sentence structure of basal readers with lots! of exclamation points, Smith adds his signature prankishness to a series of banal family escapades: "I have a balloon. Do you have a balloon? I have a balloon. My balloon is red. If you had a balloon, what color would it be? My balloon is red. POP! I have a string. Do you have a string? I have a string." In keeping with the campy tone, the artwork has a stylishly retrograde appeal, featuring smiley-faced stick figures block-printed in primary colors onto beige construction paper-quality pages. Unlike the frenzied intersection of word, image and design that distinguishes the artist's previous works (including The Big Pets and, with author Jon Scieszka, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales ), the comic impact of this book derives from Smith's deliberate pacing. Each punchline is delivered with a master comedian's timing. Go, Smith, go. All ages.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Seventeen extremely short stories to delight the pre-primer crowd and their younger sibs. Smith parodies the smugly middle- class textbook, transforming boringly repeated lines into comic resignation in such dramas as a burst balloon: ``I have a balloon. Do you have a balloon? I have a balloon. My balloon is red...POP! I have a string. Do you have a string? I have a string.'' The Hockies may be a classic family of parents, boy, girl, baby, and pet, but these events--like those in Mother Goose or schoolyard lore--hinge on misfortune: ants escape; the contents of pockets shrivel in the wash; grandmother's perfume smells like too many flowers; a cousin habitually breaks toys; sibs exact retributive justice. The stories' easy informality is supported by illustrations featuring wonderfully expressive stick figures on paper-bag tan, spiced up with touches of bright red, blue, and mustard; Smith's graphics are disarmingly simple, but nonetheless expertly deployed. Fun for all. (Easy reader. 3-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 180L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140557717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140557718
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dan Lebryk TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a lesson every child and adult should learn, how to look at the bright side of what you are dealt in life. If memory serves me correctly, I read this book to my sons starting 6 or 7 years ago. For a long time it was almost a nightly read. The boys were 6 and 11 at the time. All three of us laughed every single time we read this.

To this day, we still look at eachother and say, "Toys, What are toys, we don't have any toys," whenever somebody asks about something silly. Or one will just say, cousin stinky, and we all laugh.

This is a genuinely funny book. It teaches a wonderful lesson, things go wrong in the world (your balloon pops, your coat gets dirty, cousin stinky likes to break toys) and how you react to those things is important. Looking on the bright side of those events will make much happier people.

The illustrations are fun. The language is fun. It's fun to read out loud. And what kid wouldn't love saying cousin stinky? And honestly, it's all in how you read to your child that makes this book fun and appropriate.

The perfect companion to this book, the dumb bunny family, Dumb Bunnies Collection. We still love to talk about hammering up Valentine's hearts on the windows for Christmas.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very funny and well animated. It is filled with a lot of dry humor that will probably go over the childs head. As I read it to my kids, I couldn't keep myself from laughing. This book is stinking funny!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The FUNNIEST book I EVER read with my daughter.
We laughed out loud at bedtime again and again (which, by the way, may really help with some young one's sleep).

It's like an "inside joke book for kindergartners".

When they are old enough to read, they are also at the age when they get to know other children's behaviors. Some not so good.
These are some of their thoughts that they may not share openly, but secretly think.
It's honest.

Excellent illustrations are another twist and also a nod to Dick and Jane books.

Too funny. A classic.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a little kid book, but I'm 13 and it still made me laugh with joy. This book is very simple yet funny about a little twisted family. I think everyone should read this book because it would make the grumpiest person.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband, my 2-year-old daughter, and I are huge fans of the sequel - "The Happy Hockey Family moves to the country." So we were all very excited to get our hands on this book also. It is, as expected, a very funny, wry satire that is well-drawn and fun to read, BUT unlike the sequel it is really totally inappropriate for a small child. The book contains a segment about the very, very scary monsters that come in through the windows at night which is very frightening. So be warned that it is really a book for older kids (and parents) to enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved reading the Happy Hocky family to my both of my children. Just as my daughter was approaching school age, I saw her reading the Happy Hocky family. It was the first independent reading she did.
Yesterday evening my son, who is the same age now, got the HHF out of the bookcase... and read a bit of it to me.
So, both of them have started independent reading with the same book.
I think the "magic" is in the fact that the repetition helps kids get their heads around the reading part -- while the dry humour helps the parents come back to the book where if it were real Dick and Jane stuff, they wouldn't be able to stand it.
If your children are in the age group 3-5 I strongly suggest you get this book. It's a reading magnet.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of our family's favorite books. I have 6 kids ranging from 3-11 and they've all "cut their teeth" on this one. It's hilarious and refreshing. Each page is a new surprising delight in pictures and dialogue. My little ones have always giggled at it's silliness, and later come to appreciate the sarcastic whit found within it's pages. Thank you, Lane Smith, for this not-so-classic story!
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Format: Paperback
When I see that a children's book has been written and illustrated by the same person, I ususally find some weakness in the story line or the visual presentation. Lane Smith has beat the pattern and authored a unique and entertaining book that caused my three children (ages 3, 11, and 12)to laugh out loud. The illustrations are marvelously spare, yet masterfully efficient in portraying the Happy quirky Hocky family. Did I tell you that I laughed out loud as well? I love sophisticated humour for kids; this is a fun book. I hope Lane Smith gives us more Hocky Family stories.
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