Tag Archives: Jim Benton

Love Bites by Jim Benton

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Love Bites by Jim Benton

Benton, Jim. Love Bites. Scholastic, 2005. ISBN 978-0439693455 72 pp. $

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From the preface disclaimer that reads “no actual bunnies were physically harmed or emotionally damaged in the making of this book” to the Alfred, Lord Tennyson quote on the final endpaper, Love Bites is a snort-out-loud satire about modern day romance. The character Happy Bunny is a self-centered, blunt and oblivious creature whose narcissism is utterly droll and amusing. Example: the advice “Let your new crush know that you’re genuine and sincere,” is illustrated with a Happy Bunny cartoon with the quote bubble reading “I sincerely want you to genuinely worship me.”

This tongue-in-cheek self-help guide introduces the reader to the five common stages of every romantic relationship: crush, getting to know one another, the honeymoon, the relationship, and the end. Punctuated by quizzes, a Mad-Libs style breakup letter, and concluding with a fill-in-the-blank chart so one might keep a list of past loves (to avoid repeating the past), the interactivity is only one of the book’s charms.

The illustrations are cute, with thick bold lines and uncluttered backgrounds, uniform in appearance and limited in color. Shades of pink dominate, accented with high contract black & white, bright yellow and red, and pale blue. Each of the five chapters is printed on a different pastel background. The irony between the sweet images and the spiky tone is priceless.

The compact size would slide neatly into a standard greeting card envelope, and just as easily disappear from a library shelf. It’s a book sure to piss someone off (for it’s negatively and use of the word “sucks”) but if you aren’t offending someone, you may not be doing your job right, and the teens for whom the book is designed will take it in the spirit in which it was written.

Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist #1) by Jim Benton

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Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist #1) by Jim Benton

Benton, Jim. Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist #1). Simon & Schuster, 2004. ISBN 978-0689862953 112 pp. $

*****

You aren’t like other girls? All that sugar and spice and froo-froo crap just grosses you out? Well, you have found a friend in Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist by Jim Benton. She like bats. She likes ooze. She likes Venus Flytraps. She transforms your average doll into a creature with huge pointy teeth called “Chompula.” She IS a mad scientist. As you can imagine, it is tough for Franny being the new girl in school. Until one afternoon when a Giant Monstrous Fiend appears in Franny’s school. She knows just what to do!

Give this to early elementary school students–especially reluctant readers. It’s awesome!