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Terrific (New York Times Best Illustrated Books (Awards)) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 22, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–With pithy humor and a knack for comic timing, Agee has created a character who will endear himself to readers despite his curmudgeonly exterior and posturing. Eugene Mudge lives in Dismal, ND, and has a little problem with negativity. When he wins a free trip to Bermuda, his response is âTerrific, I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn.' Nothing seems to go right for him and no matter how horrible the experience–a wrecked cruise ship, a deserted island, a talking parrot, and almost dying of thirst–his response is always a snide, âTerrific.' Eugene's a grumpy old man, but sometimes, grumpy old men can surprise you. Sometimes, they even surprise themselves. The cartoon illustrations feature strong lines and soft colors that contrast wonderfully with the story line. With just a few lines, Eugene's bulbous nose and personality shine through. This is a perfect read-aloud for older students who are developing an ear for sarcasm and younger children who will enjoy this offbeat adventure.–Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 2. By the creator of numerous collections of palindromes and picture books like Milo's Hat Trick (1998), this title encapsulates Agee's natural strengths: deadpan delivery, lean storytelling, and an impeccable design sense. With his slumped shoulders and 1940s hat and overcoat, Eugene is a picture of middle-class discontentment. How about an all-expenses paid trip to Bermuda? "'Terrific,' he [says], I'll probably get a really nasty sunburn." When a shipwreck leaves him marooned with a talking parrot, the peppy, capable bird gradually transforms Eugene's pessimism. Agee's no-frills artwork reflects techniques borrowed from comic strips; neatly penciled frames focus attention and indicate elapsed time, while Eugene's exaggerated body proportions amplify the humor of his bond with the tiny bird. Few kids are clamoring for tales about jaded grown-ups' emotional rebirth, but there is much to command their attention here: Listeners will particularly enjoy the repeated utterances of Eugene's favorite word, especially the exuberant, heartfelt "TERRIFIC!"at book's close.Oversize dimensions and opportunities for chiming in make this a storytime natural. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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To make matters worse, (better, in my mind) we don't have TV, so they don't get to watch the little jerks on TV rolling their eyes and being sarcastic.
But this book is really great at showing how people use sarcasm.
Also, since it's by Jon Agee, the illustrations are top-notch and the story is very funny. Bonus!
Writer/illustrator Jon Agee delivers again with this laugh-out-loud tale of a sarcastic sourpuss and his "happily ever after" ending. If you're a fan of Agee, get this book. If you're something of an Eeyore at heart, get this book. If strange mishaps make you chuckle, get this book. Basically, if you or someone you know enjoys enjoyable picture books, get this book. You won't be disappointed. Unless you're Eugene - and then I wish you luck.
The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up)