Saturday, May 11, 2013

book pick: Commander Toad

part of me hopes you know already of the "brave and bright, bright and brave," the preeminent Commander Toad. the greater part of me hopes you don't so that i can have the pleasure of introducing you.

Commander Toad is at the helm of Star Warts, a "lean, green" spaceship that star-hops through "deep hopper space." he is the creation of the equally preeminent Jane Yolen, one of the most prolific and talented children's authors out there (or down here). you may know her best for her How Do Dinosaurs... series, or perhaps Not All Princesses Dress in Pink, or Owl Moon, or any of the over 300 books she's authored. (did i mention she's prolific?)

there are seven Commander Toad adventures, each riddled with pun-ishing humor (the best kind, in my DNA-driven opinion. anyone else out there appreciate Pearls Before Swine?). one of the books, for example, is called Commander Toad and the Dis-Asteroid. bah-dum-ching!

the series is illustrated by the wonderful Bruce Degen, who is the author-illustrator of another favorite of ours, Jamberry. he also illustrated The Magic School Bus series of books. i love his interpretations of Yolen's descriptions.

these are exceedingly fun read-aloud books. i've endeavored to give each character a unique voice, with emphasis on the goofy aspects that get the girls giggling. we've read these enough that they now join me in proclaiming together "COMMANDER TOAD!" a'la "Pigs in Space" when appropriate (complete with trailing off, yes. we are wonderfully ridiculous readers).

in any case, i hope you have the pleasure of meeting Commander Toad and his stal-wart crew soon (snigger), or perhaps remembering your own toadally fun adventures (snigger) in deep-hopper space with the "brave and bright, bright and brave," COMMANDER TOAD!

ps... there apparently was a really horrible tv show made based off the books. i saw a clip on YouTube and had to stop it, it was so bad. it's not remotely like the books (different characters, including one made into a human, no puns, ugh!), so on the off-chance that's how you've heard of Commander Toad, do your best to forget it forever and find the books for the real story!

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