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Johnny Boo Book 1: The Best Little Ghost In The World (Bk. 1) Hardcover – June 23, 2008
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Johnny Boo may be the best little ghost in the world, with the best little ghost pet, Squiggle, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to face down scary Ice Cream Monster. When the monster turns out not to be scary after all, Johnny and Squiggle take it on as a new, if unpredictable, friend. Kochalka’s simple line drawings and bright crayon colors stand out in this sweet, silly graphic novel. Children will easily identify with Johnny Boo’s sense of fun and with his fear at meeting someone new. The burping scenes at the end of the book are just gross enough to appeal to kids, though they may turn off adults who happen to be reading alone. The dialogue is fairly simple but never simplistic, and the text is printed clearly enough to make the book accessible to children just beginning to pick up chapter books. Less proficient readers will enjoy listening and helping out with the sound effects. Grades K-3. --Snow Wildsmith
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Top customer reviews
No, it isn't the brand of oddness that assaults the senses, or leads to bad dreams. It's more the sort of uniqueness that leads minds into unexpected places, the eyes to see clear yet not-quite-familiar images and circumstances. "Johnny Boo" resembles a favorite children's book from your own childhood... and yet, manages to classify itself into its own little niche genre. It's a children's book, without all that dull narrative prose tucked away on the page. And it's also a children's comic, wherein the characters don't quite know that they're being read by anyone (adding to the sense of the unknown, i.e. the characters aren't "performing" for the audience).
In short, "Johnny Boo" is the book children of this generation will read a few times, put aside for many years, and have such clear memories of it that they'll hunt it down again when they reach adulthood. "Johnny Boo" is the book that people will be posting Internet queries about in the future: "When I was a kid, I remember reading this really weird book about ghosts and ice cream monsters... Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about?"
Sure, it follows some children's literary conventions - the concept of adventure, treasure, strange new creatures, and the ability to use one's special talents to succeed in the world. But in recent days, there hasn't been any book that makes the conventional so... so downright nutty and unique!
And the best part about it is that "Johnny Boo" allows kids to indulge in James Kochalka's (typically grown-up themed) visions.