Tag Archives: Aaron Blabey

The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey

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The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey, paperback chapter book, 144 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2015.

Mr Wolf is known for trying to eat old ladies and their relatives, but does that make him a “Bad Guy”? To change his image, Mr Wolf starts a good guys club with Mr Shark, Mr Piranha and Mr Snake, with the aim to help people, and to become heroes. Mr Wolf has plans to make this band of stereotypical baddies be seen in a better light, through rescuing cats in trees and freeing dogs from the pound. But, will his plan work?

The Bad Guys is an easy to read chapter book, fantastic for those just moving up from first readers. The book had a comic book feel to it, with the story told through the extensive black and white illustrations and character dialogue.

I read the first episode to my kindergartener, who absolutely loved it (and I did too!). I think my son could have read it himself, but at 144 pages, he was a little intimidated by the physical size of the book. However, with all of the illustrations, and only a small amount of text on any one page, it was quite a quick read.

All of the characters have some quirky traits, but I particularly liked Mr Wolf’s upbeat nature and his unwillingness to accept defeat. My son liked Mr Shark’s ability (and desire) to eat anything and everything, even his own hat! The group dynamic and the interaction between the individual characters was excellent. It was easy to believe that this group could turn their bad ways over for good with Mr Wolf’s leadership and some great teamwork.

Be prepared for a good laugh whilst reading The Bad Guys; just about everything in this story was funny. The reactions to being rescued by a wolf, a shark, a snake and a piranha are great, and of course, my son thought Mr Piranha’s gassy little problem in the car was hilarious! How sceptical of Mr Wolf’s plans the others are, and how completely committed to his mission Mr Wolf is, even how they dress, it is all funny. Overall, we just really enjoyed this turned backwards tale.

The Bad Guys series is now up to, as I write this, I believe, episode 9, so there is a lot more laughter and joy to be had from these four formerly dangerous pals. We are looking forward to their next mission.

The Bad Guys: Episode 1 is suitable for lower and middle primary school children.

The Dreadful Fluff by Aaron Blabey

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dreadfulfluffThe Dreadful Fluff by Aaron Blabey, picture book, published by Penguin Group (Australia) in 2012.

Serenity Strainer is perfect, except for the evil belly button fluff she pulls out one Saturday morning. The Dreadful Fluff goes on a rampage through Serenity’s house, collecting fluff and lint, and terrorising her family.

We’ve owned The Dreadful Fluff for a while now, and it has been well loved by all of my children. They think it is hilarious that belly button fluff could be alive and evil! Even when he starts devouring family members, the kids are still laughing. It is a particular favourite of my three year olds, who insist on reading it again and again.

It really is quite a funny book, and I like it a lot. The Dreadful Fluff is delightfully wicked and gross. I love the way he is drawn, with such expressive eyes and a nasty grin. And he just looks so ecstatic when he is rubbing himself again the dryer door, I can almost hear him purring. Serenity’s method of fighting him is ingenious. The moment Serenity goes all Rambo and challenges the Dreadful Fluff is my favourite scene in the book.

The Dreadful Fluff is most suitable for toddlers through to lower primary school children.

Pig the Elf by Aaron Blabey

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pigelfPig the Elf by Aaron Blabey, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2016.

It’s Christmas time, and the greediest dog of all, Pig, has made a very long list of all the things he wants from Santa. He loves Christmas for all the presents that Santa will deliver, but in true Pig fashion, things don’t go the way he desires.

We have loved all of the Pig the Pug books so far, so we were excited to see what Pig would get up to at Christmas. Pig is very greedy, so it wasn’t surprising that his Christmas list was incredibly long. You can read parts of the list within the back cover of the book. I laughed reading some of the things he asked for, such as a beard, and a trained shark. Oh Pig, just what would you do with those?

Pig the Elf is a great book to share with young children during the holiday period. The story is humorous, and the language rhymes, which is fun to read aloud. The illustrations are cute and quite festive. I particularly liked Pig in his red suit; though he looks rather crazy when he is informing Trevor that he will be waiting up for Santa. Of course, there is also a message in there about being grateful instead of greedy, I’m not sure Pig will really embrace it though.

We all enjoyed Pig the Elf, and I’m sure it will be a favourite for many Christmases to come. It is most suitable for toddlers and primary school children, as well as the young at heart!

Pig the Fibber by Aaron Blabey

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IMG_4939Pig the Fibber by Aaron Blabey, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2015.

Pig the pug is back, and he is still being mean to Trevor the sausage dog! Pig blames Trevor for all of his own naughty behaviour. Now Pig has a plan to consume all the dog treats in one sitting, but first he has to get those pesky owners out of the way. Will Pig’s fibbing come back to bite him?

We loved Pig the Pug, and now we love Pig the Fibber. Despite being so mean to Trevor, it’s hard not to like this little roly-poly fellow, and to feel both amused and a bit sorry for him when he gets his just desserts.

Behind this funny tale with its rhyming text is a simple message about not telling lies. Pig learns the hard (and humourous for us) way that fibbing about his misdeeds is not a nice thing to do. A good lesson for all children, though I hope fibbing children don’t get quite the same consequences as Pig! The illustrations aren’t too complex, but there is so much character in them. The dogs’ expressions are excellently conveyed, especially Pig’s face when he is doing something naughty. He has crazy eyes and a maniacal grin!

Pig the Fibber is an excellent follow up to Pig the Pug, and is fantastic for sharing with little people. It is definitely a picture book worthy of re-reading many times, and whilst it is best for preschoolers and lower primary school students, but most people will have a chuckle whilst reading Pig’s latest adventure.

 

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

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IMG_4940 (1)Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2014.

Pig is a pug, a very greedy pug. He lives with a sausage dog called Trevor, who is sweet and kind. Pig never shares anything with Trevor, claiming everything for himself. He really should share, but will he learn his lesson?

Pig the Pug is a funny book with a message discouraging selfishness and greediness. The lyrical text flows nicely, and is accompanied by clear and simple illustrations. I love the look on Pig’s face when he is standing on top of his pile of toys, it is perfectly maniacal! And I can’t imagine a more perfect ending for this story. I hope Pig learns from his experience, but I have a funny feeling he may need a few more lessons on sharing.

My kids enjoyed this book, and demanded re-reads straight away. They also went away and read the book themselves (3rd grader and kindergartner). They both laughed at Pig’s greedy ways, especially when he was yelling “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!”, which is something their toddler brothers do a lot!

This cute rhyming book is suitable for pre-schoolers and lower primary school children, and is great for reading aloud. Pig the Pug is a shortlisted book for The Children’s Book of the Year Awards in 2015, and has been followed up with a second book, Pig the Fibber.

 

You may also enjoy reviews of Pig the Elf and Pig the Fibber.

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

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IMG_4642Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2015.

Thelma is a small pony with big dreams. She dreams of being a unicorn, and when the opportunity for change presents itself, she takes advantage of it. She becomes Thelma the Unicorn, living an exciting and adoring fan-filled life, but something is missing.

A beautiful picture book suitable for preschool and lower primary school children, Thelma the Unicorn is about just being yourself because that’s the best thing you can be. Your real friends will accept you just as you are, imperfections and all. It takes Thelma a little while to discover this, as she finds that pretending to be something that she is not isn’t easy, and it isn’t necessarily fulfilling either.

My kindergartner daughter initially picked this book out because it has a pink unicorn on the front with sparkly glitter! Now she wants to read it because she likes the story, and she likes Thelma. It rhymes too, which is great for reading aloud and sharing, and the illustrations are lovely. I particularly like the truck driver of the truck carrying the pink paint and glitter, and my daughter likes Thelma on the red carpet. An amusing read and re-read!