Sunday, October 25, 2015

Werewolves and Broccoli - Are They Really So Different?

Me, not a Werewolf or a Ghost!!
Two recently-published books came home in a bag last week.  Here's what I noticed right away:  Smiling mushrooms and a wolf on one cover, and a penguin and pajamas on the other.  The penguin wasn't wearing the pajamas, and the wolf wasn't laughing along with the mushrooms, but the juxtaposition of those images sure caught my attention.

So what did I do?  I grabbed a biscuit (or two), and lay on the couch I'm not supposed to by lying on, and started reading.  I was so engrossed I hardly had time to get off the couch and jump crazily at the door when my family got home.

Later that night, as I lay at the foot of the bed worshiping my Dad I started to think about those two books and what they had in common.  If I could have drawn a Venn diagram I would have.  Without opposable thumbs it's almost impossible!

The Astounding Broccoli Boy (Frank Cottrell Boyce) and Return to Augie Hobble (Lane Smith) both tell the stories of two underdogs, if I may use that expression.  They get thrown into unusual circumstances, one because he inexplicably turns bright green and the other because he has a close encounter with a werewolf. 

Rory, the broccoli-colored one, has to join forces with his enemy, who also turned green!  They decide they must be green for a reason, so they set out to do astounding things.  Astounding things do happen, but not quite in the way they expected.  However, they both grow and change - their lives will never be the same.  Would yours be, if you had turned bright green?

Now let's discuss werewolves.  Furry, drooly, badly behaved...  I've never liked them.  Augie Hobble is spending the summer working at Fairy Tale Place, the run down amusement park his dad manages.  He also has to go to summer school, since he failed his Creative Arts final project.  He's being bullied and his best friend is going away all summer.  Then the worst thing happens - his best friend dies while away!  And another really bad thing - Augie has a run-in with what he thinks is a werewolf, and soon his journal entries become very scary.  Is he turning into a werewolf?  The truth is even stranger, and let's just say it's possible for best friends to always be with you, no matter where they've gone.

These stories have humor, adventure, mystery, weirdness... but their power is friends, both new and old!  Now it's time for me to go pee on a bush, and for you to pick up a good book.