It's Only Stanley
It's Only Stanley

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Annotation: Very strange noises that keep awakening the Wimbledon family one night have an even stranger source.
Catalog Number: #94618
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8037-3907-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85122-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8037-3907-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85122-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2013042652
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Agee applies his trademark humor to a wacky new picture book, featuring Stanley, a beagle whose odd nocturnal activities keep his family from sleeping. The single-minded canine drives the Wimbledons crazy one night, howling at the moon, fixing the oil tank, repairing an old TV, and making catfish stew, before finally revealing his master plan. Written in verse, the text serves up plenty of laughs, though a few rhymes seem a bit forced ("It was late as it can get,/When Wanda heard a buzzing noise/That made her all upset."). Agee's signature cartoon style is ideal for the narrative, and the expressions of the various characters, from the endearingly eccentric, steadfast Stanley to the beleaguered Wimbledons, are simple yet endlessly entertaining. The responses of the put-upon family cat in particular will provoke plenty of giggles (for instance, it's seen slurping at the catfish stew on a spread, then turning green on the following one). Sound effects ("SPLISH SPLASH," "KAPOW!") add to the zany humor, making this one perfect for read-alouds. The out-of-this-world but amusing conclusion is appropriately odd and surprising. Agee knows what his young readers wantplain sillinessand he delivers. Hilarious. Mahnaz Dar , School Library Journal
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Agee and his simple, droll watercolors return with a work that manages to be absurdist, alarming, and st when you least expect it ignant. It begins with a husband and wife awakened by a noise. The man investigates, but it's just their nondescript little beagle, Stanley, howling at the moon. Back to bed, until the Wimbledons' first child arrives complaining of basement clanging. Dad checks it out; it's only Stanley on a stepladder, weirdly modifying the oil tank. Well, back to bed again, until the next child arrives with a beef about a weird smell: Stanley, in the kitchen with tubes and beakers, is mixing up something strange. And so it goes, child after child, complaint after complaint, with the expressionless Stanley continuing his bizarro behavior and technological tinkering. The Chris Van Allsburg stiffness is almost ominous when combined with the Edgar Allan Poe cadence: "The Wimbledons were sleeping. / It was late as it could get, / When Wanda heard a buzzing noise / That made her all upset." The shocking twist is that Stanley has jiggered the house into a rocket, and the final rhyming word, moon member how Stanley howled at it? cleverly left unsaid, as the house lands on the moon, and Stanley holds paws with a cute pink moon-dog. Very strange, and very, very wonderful.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (11/1/14)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (1/1/15)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 305
Reading Level: 2.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 173357 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q66040
Lexile: AD530L

Fans of Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers will love this mischievously funny read-aloud from award-winning author/illustrator Jon Agee

Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. "That's very odd," says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he's always reassuring: "It's only Stanley; he's fixing the oil tank." "It's only Stanley; he's clearing the bathtub drain."

But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he's turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like Click Clack Moo and I Want My Hat Back.

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