Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MG Realistic Fiction/Humor: The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett

The Terrible Two  by Jory John and Mac Barnett
Published: January 13th 2015  by Harry N. Abrams
Genres: Middle Grade Realistic Fiction/Humor
Pages: 224 
Format: Hardcover
Source:  Public Library

One of my favorite things to share with my child growing up was nightly read-aloud's.  Some of our favorites were the Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne and Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger by Kevin Bolger.  There's a line at the beginning of the Magic Tree House that repeats itself in almost every book and ends with..."The tree house started to spin faster and faster! Then everything was still."  We came to expect that line in every book that we read. With Sir Fartsalot, we got silly juvenile humor with fun wordplay and puns.  The Terrible Two, combined those two things for us.  

Then came the stage where they're able to read on their own, and your left wondering are they going to want to read?  Love it as much as I do?    I've been very lucky that my reluctant reader has moved to liking reading, I say liking cause it still isn't the first choice in activities, but I'll take it.  It was a slow process of encouraging taking books on car trips, to restaurants, on vacation.   Well and reading and buying lot's of books, plus reading in front of my child.  I still leave books laying around hoping that some will be picked up and carried off to be read.   Occasionally, we'll even read the same book passing it back and forth with one another. I say all of this because, true read aloud's together, where we're flipping pages together,  haven't happened in awhile...well until now, thanks to The Terrible Two.  After we went to the library to pickup my holds, my reader started to read this in the car to me.  Kind of a mom you need to hear this.  Needless to say, we loved The Terrible Two!

Miles has just moved to Yawnee Valley and he isn't really happy about it because, in his last school he was known as the best prankster.  But, on the first day of school, he finds out that there may already be another prankster in Yawnee Valley and this guy has some skills.  We're talking parking Principal Barkin's car at the top of a flight of stairs, with no apparent way to get it down skills.  Being the new guy, Miles is immediately blamed by the Principal.  So, Miles sets out to  figure out who the mystery prankster is, while not getting blamed for any pranks himself.  But Miles may have met his match as the school prankster continues to outsmart him at every turn.   

First off, the illustrations by Kevin Cornell are hilarious, they are so wonderfully detailed.   We loved the full page ones and especially the illustrations for chapter 11 which alternate between Miles and Principal Barkin doing the same things.  Just hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny.  We loved the dialogue, characters, humor, even the facts on cows were entertaining.  Here's hoping that the cows still have a place in future books, or at least pranks.  The Terrible Two also had a repetitive line that each time  "Somewhere in the distance, a cow mooed."  showed up, my child and I smiled.  We even started to wait for it and anticipate when it would show up.    This was such a fun story to read together filled with laughs.  We stumbled over the names Miles and Niles a few times, but it just added to the fun.  Now that these two prankster have teamed up let the hijinks ensue.  


  1. I heard about this book last week and was very intrigued. I didn't know much about it until today. I am glad you and your child got to read it together. Yeah for a great book to bond over. :) Thanks for sharing- I will be looking for this one.

    1. I hope you get a chance to read it, it's hilarious. Yes we've defiantly bonded over this one, we are still talking about lines from the book. :)