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I'm Bad! Hardcover – April 22, 2008
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—What could possibly equal the McMullans' audacious garbage truck in I Stink! (2002) and the brazen backhoe in I'm Dirty! (2006, both HarperCollins) for unadulterated attitude? Why, a towering, tough-talking T. rex, of course, complete with "rip-'em-up CLAWS," "bite-'em-up FANGS," and "Bad breath." (And don't even think of making fun of its "baby arms.") This creature is really big, "6-tons-of-MUSCLE-on-the-hustle BIG," with a "BIG empty belly growling for GRUB." Despite the beast's bravado, however, its attempts at catching prey are repeatedly—and hilariously—foiled. The predator's state of mind moves from arrogance to despair on a wonderfully illustrated psychedelic spread awhirl with forest foliage and easy-to-spot edible critters that the frustrated T. rex can smell but can't find. As the great hunter lies on its back having a tantrum, a vertical fold-out page is lifted to reveal the reptile's even bigger mother, who provides a bit of "takeout" for her grateful child. Vibrant artwork done in bold shades of green, orange, and violet equal the swaggering text in tone, energy, and humor. Whether devoured during a boisterous storytime or consumed independently, children will eat this one up.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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Like the bragging, swaggering vehicles in the authors’ previous titles, such as I Stink! (2004), the tyrannosaurus narrator of this picture book is all boasts: “I’m REALLY bad. Scare-the-tails-off-all-the-other-dinosaurs BAD.” After showing off his mighty features, somewhat defensively (“Did you just call me BABY ARMS? Long as yours, pal—20 times stronger”), the dino hunts unsuccessfully for a meal, and his bluster wears thin: “Am I ever gonna eat again? There’s gotta be food in the forest . . .” There is. And it comes from Mom, who appears in a dramatic fold-out page that shows her towering size, amplifying the surprise that the dinosaur speaker is a pint-size youngster. As in I Stink! the high-energy illustrations and macho narrator’s words create a rowdy, crowd-pleasing whole. Children will delight in the dinosaur’s wild expressions and the dynamic text, filled with comic-book sound effects. Pair this with David Ezra Stein’s Monster Hug (2007), which includes a similar transformation of hulking monster into cuddly kid. Preschool-Grade 1. --Gillian Engberg