Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Review: Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice

I hate reading to my kids. It's just page after page of rhyme-y gimmicky simple sentences.

Dr. Seuss is at least imaginative, but by page 140 of Green Eggs and Ham, I'm stressed out by all the sing-song repetition, hoping for a knock at the door, a fight in the next room, even a baby diaper emergency, just to get out of finishing the never-ending book.

Guilty parents, guilt no more! I give you: Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice.

It's basically a Spanglish children's mash-up of Metamorphosis and Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

It's about a kitten with over-sized ears, who thinks he's a chihuahua, who dresses up in a snowsuit, borrows some bottles of red spice from the kitchen, dumps them all over his room, and pretends to meet his green canine twin on Mars. Where does Judy Schachner get this stuff?!

The pictures are bright and funny. I don't try to get away with skipping pages. And my kids think it's hilarious -- without referencing underpants or poop!

    "Who goes there?" hollered Skippito.

    "Martian." came the answer.

    "Martian Who?"

    "Martian to your closet and get us some frijoles, dude," said the voice.

...which has now become a popular phrase in our house. 

The book lends itself to funny voices, but if children's books in accents aren't your thing (or your Spanglish needs some work), Skippyjon Jones comes with an audio cd, read by the author.

When I realized the chihuahua-cat-martian songs could all be sung to the Mexican Hat Dance, it was like re-living the moment Wally asked me to marry him. So much happiness. 

I usually rotate books through our kids' bookshelf, so our living room isn't overwhelmed by more books than any kid could read in a day. But I think Skippyjon Jones will get to stay for awhile. 

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