HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Good News, Bad News
Author and Illustrator: Jeff Mack
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2012
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-7
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Mack, Jeff. Good News, Bad News (published in 2012 by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA). Is the glass half empty or half full? Bunny Rabbit and his friend Mouse are going on a picnic. “Good news.” However, it begins to rain. “Bad news.” But wait, Rabbit has an umbrella. “Good News.” Then, when Mouse takes the umbrella, the wind blows it and him into a tree. “Bad news.” And what will happen when first the bees and then the bear come? Will that be good news or bad news? This is a tale about two friends with opposite points of view. The bunny sees the good, while the mouse sees the bad.
Author and illustrator Jeff Mack, who has also written Hush Little Polar Bear, Frog and Fly, and Clueless McGee, uses only four words in the text to tell the story. Books like this can be very useful in stimulating the imaginations of children by getting them to visualize more than just the words on the page and maybe even to convey the action behind the scenes in their own words. It is not my desire to knock Good News, Bad News, with its humorously appealing illustrations, but, while understanding the benefits of books like this, I personally still prefer a little more substance even in the children’s books that I read.