Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Review: My Dad's Jokes are Very (Terribly, Awfully, Painfully) Bad! by Jacob Eckeberger

 Some days need a few jokes...even bad ones...to get us through the day. So, today's review is a picture book which will have even older ones smiling and moaning.

by Jacob Eckeberger
Illustrated by Keith Zarraga
24 pages
ages 4 to 10

Who has the worst jokes of all? Dads.

This book is dedicated to the kids who put up with all the very, terribly, awfully, painfully, bad jokes from their dads!

At the beginning of the book, you're met by a new friend whose Dad is the king of bad jokes. But it doesn't take long for their Dad to start telling his jokes, and soon you're faced with a challenge: can you make it to the end of the book without cracking a smile?



Smiles and smirks are guaranteed as jokes mix with a boy's uncomfortableness.

Dad's make bad jokes, and this boy really is tired of hearing them. He tries to be nice, but lets the reader know how awful he really finds each and every one. The more jokes the dad tells, the funnier the boy reacts.

This book takes the fun of a joke book (because the reader does learn jokes) and mixes it with the silly discomfort of a kid, who's trying to deal with his embarrassing father. In other words, many young listeners will have no trouble relating. The jokes the dad tells are about the same level as found in a joke book...not any worse or better...but it's the kid's reactions, which add even more fun as he tries to explain how awful it is living with a dad like that.

The illustrations are simple but completely right for this type of book. It's fun to watch the boy's expressions as he whines and complains about each joke. I do like the way the illustrator divided the pages so that the joke is on one side with the question at the top and answer below, and the boy's reaction next to it.

The words and jokes are age appropriate. There is a little more text, making it better for slightly older listeners. I was a little disappointed to see that the author tried to rhyme the boy's dialogue/thoughts, since this didn't flow well and felt forced. But it doesn't ruin the fun in the slightest.

I can see young listeners enjoying this and telling some of these jokes for weeks...months...years?...to come.

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