Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Grandpa Hates the BIrd by Eve Yohalem

Grandpa Hates the Bird: Six Short Stories of Exciting, Hilarious and Possibly Deadly Adventure
written by Eve Yohalem
Telemachus Press, 2011
Grades 2-4
Reviewed from ebook sent by author for review.
No compensation was received for this review, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

BLURB: “Alas, it is true. Grandpa hates me. He has always hated me, even before I used his ear as a swing toy (his lobes are so long and flappy!). I can’t imagine why. I assume Grandpa hates me simply because I am the bird—and he is not.”

Everybody loves Bird. Joseph and Maya, Mother and Father, Humphrey the dog, Slick the snake. Everyone except Grandpa, who will stop at nothing to set Bird free. Forever.

• How does the battle begin when Bird and Grandpa are alone together for a whole week?
• See classroom chaos in Bring Your Pet to School Day!
• Exactly what are they hunting at the Aw Shoot archery range?

Fasten your feathers and warm up your wings—here are six collected short stories in the Grandpa Hates the Bird series!


I believe this is the first book I have ever read where the character telling the story is a bird.  This surprises me a little because it really is a fabulous idea.  Yohalem brings Bird to life wonderfully.  I found myself laughing my way through each of the six stories in this book. One of the things that makes it funny is the fact that Bird himself seems so clueless as to why Grandpa hates him, but the reader figures it out very quickly.  The second reason the book is funny is of course the way Bird responds to the situations in which he finds himself, such as playing dead (he is very good at this).  

This book would make for a fun read-a-loud and could easily be used to teach point-of-view and visualization.  Clearly Bird's and Grandpa's views are very different.  While I routed for Bird through all the stories, one can't help but feel compassion for Grandpa (at times).  

There were a couple of things that concerned me a little bit.  First, the title, the word 'hates' in the title is a little off putting, at least for me.  I thought that maybe Grandpa versus the Bird would perhaps be a better title, but that could just be me.  Hates doesn't really convey humor to me.  Luckily it didn't stop me from reading and enjoying the book.  The other thing I noticed was the writing seemed awkward in a few spots, once again it wasn't enough to stop me from reading and enjoying the book.  For me, writing becomes awkward when it pulls me out of the story enough that I stop and ponder the word choice or phrasing.  Usually once I get used to the phrasing the author likes to use, I can get passed it (not always, but generally), but only if the characters and plot interest me, which in this case they did.

Overall, I recommend this book to those who enjoy humorous stories about pets, I did really enjoy it and plan to share parts of it with some of my students. Take a look at the author's website for more information.

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