Title: The Terrible Two
Authors: Mac Barnett & Jory John
Illustrator: Kevin Cornell
Genre: Middle Grade/Humour
Review: As expected this book has plenty of great illustrations to capture and hold the attention of children and has rather short sentences. I enjoy reading middle grade fiction especially when I’m in a reading slump. In the first chapter of The Terrible Two we are introduced to Yawnee Valley and its many cows (one cow was even the mayor).
We are introduced to our main character Miles and his mom Judy. Miles is not happy about moving to Yawnee Valley as he will miss his friends and home, but the thing he will miss most is his reputation as the best prankster in his school. I have a feeling he’s going to be a naughty and mischievous boy and be up to no good in no time.
We can see Miles’ determination to be the best throughout the novel. Miles then knows the school already has a prankster and a good one at that. But that isn’t going to stop Miles.
The car belongs to the principal who takes an instant dislike to Miles. The use of illustrations makes for some side-splitting laughter and it’s just fun. The friendship and rivalry between Miles and Niles also makes for interesting reading especially if you look at it from a child’s point of view.
The actual pranks, which are sort of incidental to the larger story, are actually pretty clever. The prankster angle mostly serves to set up some reason for Miles and student X to compete, then meet, then cooperate. (And once that happens student X becomes a major satisfying character in his/her own right.)
This seems like a book that would appeal to a wide range of kid readers, both because of its premise and because the jokes work differently for different aged readers. A younger reader would get most of the story and older readers would probably pick up on more of the subtle and deadpan business. I guess in the tech world you would call this “scalable”. The illustrations help. While they are uncluttered pen and ink drawings they capture a lot of the personality of the characters and energy of the narrative, which would aid younger readers and amuse older readers.
The Terrible Two is funny, engaging and entertaining, with a sweet and cheerful centre and a very satisfying resolution. A happy find.
*Sent to me by Abrams & Chronicle *
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: www.amazon.com