Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s time to announce the 2013 Coveted (the word “coveted” was added last year) Robbie Awards for the funniest children’s chapter book and funniest children’s picture books of the year. A distinguished panel of experts (me) reads and ponders all year long and after hours of laughing, giggling, snorting, guffawing, chuckling, and grinning from ear to ear, make final selections (sometimes the winners are notified).
2013 Coveted Robbie Award for Chapter Book:
A father returns home late from his trip to the store to buy milk for his children’s breakfast. His daughter asks him where he has been all this time. The father replies, “Um. Yes. Well, funny you should ask me that.” He then launches into a very long, convoluted story featuring aliens bent on re-decorating Earth, a space-time continuum (time travel), pirates, piranhas, a stegosaurus-slash-inventor traveling in a hot air balloon (referred to as a “Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier”), a jungle group bent on sacrificing anybody, vampires who are unable to pronounce the letter ‘V’, galactic police, and (possibly the funniest moment in the book) a brief appearance of “three purple dwarfs with flowerpots on their heads” who do a little dance. The bottle of milk plays a big role in the father’s story. When the children state they don’t believe a word their father says, “It was all true. And I can prove it.” “How?” “‘Well, said the father, putting it down on the kitchen table, ‘here’s the milk.’”
2013 Coveted Robbie Award Honor Chapter Book:
Flora, a self-proclaimed “natural born cynic” rescues a squirrel from the grips of a gigantic indoor-outdoor vacuum cleaner. The squirrel, named Ulysses after the Ulysses Super-Suction, Multi-Terrain 2000X vacuum cleaner, develops super abilities, including understanding humans and writing poetry on a typewriter. Flora does her best to watch over Ulysses despite her mother’s instructions for her father to smack the squirrel over the head and bury it in a sack. I heard that this book won some other kind of award, too. The Newman? Something like that.
And the 2013 Coveted (did I mention the word “Coveted” was added last year?) Robbie Award for Picture Book:
The different colored crayons draw up their long lists of complaints against their owner. They feel over-used, under-used, abused, misrepresented, and, well, think of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type with crayons. My favorites include the complaints of beige who points out the obvious that kids don’t get excited about coloring wheat, and pink who never gets used by the boy. Thankfully, his sister steps in so pink crayon gets a little action. In the end, the boy comes up with his artistic masterpiece that creatively utilizes the different crayons.
Finally, the 2013 Coveted Robbie Award Honor Picture Book:
A cow steals a car, goes joyriding, faces consequences. I trust that author LaRochelle and artist Wohnoutka will alert their publisher to this prestigious achievement and that the sponsors of this award will be lavishly rewarded.
Enjoy the laughs!