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THE PURPLE KANGAROO by Michael Ian Black

THE PURPLE KANGAROO

By Michael Ian Black (Author) , Peter Brown (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5771-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

A snide monkey conjures descriptions of a purple kangaroo in order to tell a snarky joke. “Hey, kid,” opens the direct-address narration, “I’ve got a supersecret, highly unusual, incredible, and amazing magical power. I can read minds.” Readers are instructed to “think of something,” and the monkey guesses it’s a purple kangaroo. When the assumed reader presumably says no, he parlays his guess into further florid details (a purple kangaroo on roller skates, juggling bananas, on the moon, etc.). Punch line: You still insist you weren’t thinking of a purple kangaroo? Well, “YOU’RE THINKING OF ONE NOW!!!” Fans of gotcha! jokes will snort and race off to try it on someone else, but some readers will feel derided as the frankly obnoxious monkey holds his stomach with laughter and crows, “See, I told you I could read your mind.” Rational thinkers will insist that the monkey didn’t read their mind. Brown’s acrylic, graphite and digital illustrations feature flat, oversimplified forms that lack backgrounds and depth; facial expressions are mocking and exaggerated, emphasizing the tone of one-upmanship. (Picture book. 4-6)