Saturday, May 11, 2013

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big

"Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big"

 Breathed, B. (2000). Edwurd Fudwupper fibbed big. Boston, MA: A Storyopolis Book (Little, Brown and Company).
Genre: Children’s Picture Storybook

Fannie Fudwupper is the younger sister of Edwurd, the most “higher upper” liar from a long line of liars. Edwurd lies to Mabel Dill and the neighborhood kids but saves his biggest fib for his parents. For some sisters that would be enough to cause some resentment and strain but poor Fannie is not bothered by her brother’s humdingers—she just wants his love and attention. But Edwurd does not even notice her…

Meanwhile, Edwurd’s fib is spreading like wildfire. It demands attention from the army, air force, dogcatcher…and gigantic space alien. Yep, you read that right. A gigantic space alien. Will anyone come to Edwurd’s rescue? Read to find out!

Reaction: So, before I can even share my thoughts and reactions to the book, I must point out the author’s note located in the front endpapers:

“The author wishes to thank President Bill Clinton, without whose daily inspiration this particular story just plain wouldn’t have come to mind.”

This made me giggle…for reasons better left to the imagination. Sadly, a great number of political figures could be inserted in the place of our former president.

Okay, okay, time for the actual review.

Berkeley Breathed is an incredible illustrator and his writing is just as grand. Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big is written in verse that flows well for a read aloud. What does that mean? Breathed’s writing is written so smoothly that expression comes naturally for the reader. Example:  

“They were cruising by Earth,
Looking down from above…
When they spotted Mom’s pig
And fell deeply in love.”

Try reading that with no expression. It will be tough because it is written so brilliantly, it demands expression. This is ideal for reading a story aloud to children or as Breathed brought to our attention, even adults can stand to hear a story about the repercussions of lying.

The illustrations are not to be outdone by Edwurd’s whoppers. Breathed has won the Pulitzer’s Prize for his cartoons and comics and he brings the same level of quality to the artwork of this picture book and others (see my review of Breathed’s Mars Needs Moms! here.) The illustrations are an enticing combination of both cartoon features and watercolor backdrops and coloring. My favorite illustration spread depicts the before mentioned gigantic space alien standing on his space cruiser shouting at Earth in his pajamas with a fly swatter in his hand. My description does not do Breathed’s art justice; you have to experience his work to fully appreciate it. Check it out!

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