Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Nook - Arnie the Doughnut

It's a special Thursday edition of Book Nook!

The past several days have been pretty stinky in the Bach household, I must admit.  First, the Bachsters all have the stomach flu.  It's been terrible.  I will spare you the details.  Fortunately, they are slowly starting to get better, but it's hit them all hard.  Poor things!

And then, the drive in which all my pictures are stored on just went and died.  So, until we take the computer to the computer-fixing-store and beg and plead for them to help us, we are sans all my photos since 2008.  Yes, I backed up my pictures onto an external hard drive, but I know there are some that I missed recently.

So, what is one to do in these rough days?  Enjoy a doughnut, of course.....Arnie the Doughnut, written and illustrated by Laurie Keller:

As the beginning of the book tells us, Arnie turned out to be just the doughnut he wanted to become: round, with chocolate icing and colorful sprinkles.  In a flashback, we see Arnie being made in the "ringy-dingy-doughnut-making-thingy," his bath in a vat of boiling oil, a nice, relaxing time to dry off and then it's icing and sprinkles and a home in the case among the other doughnuts (next to a very aloof apple fritter).  Arnie wonders who will purchase him, as he waves goodbye to all the doughnuts as they leave the bakery in sacks, or by the dozen.

And then enters Mr. Bing, a nice fellow with a nice name, who points right at Arnie in his case.  Arnie is so excited that his big day has come, and he imagines the grand farewell the other doughnuts will give him.  It's a bumpy car ride in his bakery sack, and Arnie is grateful to the baker for so thoughtfully including a napkin to cushion his ride.  When Arnie and Mr. Bing arrive at home, Arnie relaxes onto the plate that Mr. Bing sets him on.  Arnie thinks it's rather cute that Mr. Bing picks him up and wants to hold him.  But then everything changes in Arnie's world once he realizes just how close Mr. Bing is to taking a bite out of him........

The Bachsters and I all thought this story was hilarious, and it's especially fun to read because there are tons of little pictures on the sides with funny comments.  Kids can see way in advance what's in store for Arnie, although he is completely clueless.  When he realizes what's to become of him (after a discreet phone call to the bakery), he is in shock, with severe loss of sprinkles and the feeling that someone punched a hole through his stomach (of course, he really has a hole through his stomach).  But then, Mr. Bing and Arnie come up with the most unexpected (and funny) solution to the problem.

Each page is full humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle.  It really begs to be re-read, because there is so much here, that little readers might have missed some of it the first time.  I love that Laurie Keller's sense of humor even extends beyond the story, into the section about the author on the back cover: her author photo shows her covertly leaving a bakery, in dark sunglasses, with a box of doughnuts in hand.  Like I said, there's something to laugh at and giggle at throughout this whole book!

Which is just what we need on a yucky sick day (with lost pictures) in the Bach house.


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