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Baloney (Henry P.) (2001)
by Jon Scieszka
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142404306, Paperback)Henry P. Baloney needs to come up with a very good, very believable excuse for being late to szkola yet again--or he's in big trouble with his teacher Miss Bugscuffle. But never fear! Henry has a doozy of a story. You see, it all started when he misplaced his trusty yellow no. zz zimulis. One thing led to another, and before he knew it, he was on a razzo blasting off into space, where he eventually landed on the planet Astrosus. All went well there, as the intrepid explorer entertained the Astro guys with his funny piksas--until they decided Henry and his piksas would be entertaining to eat. Things go on in this vein until somehow, miraculously, Henry P. Baloney ends up back in his classroom, a mere seven minutes late--but still one writing utensil short!
Trust the ultracreative author/illustrator pair, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the Time Warp Trio series, and more), to mastermind a plot this bizarre and yet somehow familiar to any school kid. Sure, Henry P. Baloney is a cute, saucer-eyed, green alien, but he has problems just like you and me--such as the threat of Permanent Lifelong Detention. Remarkably, as Scieszka reports in his afterword, when he received and decoded the transmission of this story (directly from deep space, mind you), it was written in a combination of many Earth languages, including Finnish, Swahili, Latvian, Esperanto, and Inuktitut (decoder included). Go figure.
Caldecott Honor artist Lane Smith must have spent a lot of time in detention, doodling away the hours. His weird, wild, wonderful pictures tell at least half the story, illustrating for readers' enlightenment just what a zimulis ("pencil" in Latvian) or speelplaats (Dutch for "playground") looks like. Fans of this ingenious pair will not be disappointed and may even make a twrf (Welsh for "noise") of joy! (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:50 -0400)
A transmission received from outer space in a combination of different Earth languages tells of an alien schoolboy's fantastic excuse for being late to school again.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.