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A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

by Marla Frazee

Published by Harcourt, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0152060206

Ages 4-7

James and Eamon spend a week at Eamon's grandparent's house so they can attend a nearby Nature Camp during the day. The two best friends have a great time together, not necessarily at Nature Camp, but during the times they spend playing together on the off hours. In fact, neither boy seems to have much interest at all in nature -- all week long they turn down Grandpa Bill's suggestion that they go to a special penguin exhibit at a nearby museum, and neither boy really even wants to play outside. Instead, they play video games, watch TV, and stuff themselves with Grandma Pam's banana waffles. Much of the humor in this book comes from the incongruity between text and illustrations. For example, where the text says "At night, James and Eamon slept on a blow-up mattress with an automatic pump," the illustration shows them jumping up and down on the mattress. The text, in fact, describes events as an adult would want them to be, and the pictures show what the boys are really doing. Most amusing and poignant of all is the poor grandfather, Bill, wanting so much to share his great passion for penguins with two boys who couldn't care less about them. He does everything he can to pique the boys' interest, with no luck. But something obviously has sunk in from the week as a whole because on the last night, the boys venture outside onto the deck, and against a moonlit ocean backdrop, they use rocks, shells, and sticks to build an Antarctic scene, complete with penguins. "And then they walked like a couple of penguins all the way to the front door." It's a perfect ending to the boys' best week ever. (KTH) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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