Review: Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

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Title: Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

paulbunyan250 Author / Illustrator: Matt Luckhurst

Themes: Folk Tales/Fables, Geography, Health, Humor

Published: 2012, 48 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa G.

Man (and beast) cannot survive on pancakes and syrup alone! Paul Bunyan and his buddy, Babe the Blue Ox, learn this lesson the hard way. Paul and Babe are super-sized, and no matter how many pancakes Paul's mom whips up, it's just not easy to satisfy their extra-large appetites.

Mom begs them to try veggies too, but it doesn't go well. Eventually they take off to see the world -- and satiate their hunger. Before long, they discover that logging and pancakes go hand-in-hand.

They join forces with Brimstone Bill, who pays them in pancakes, and together they travel across the country, logging their way through Tall-Wolf Country, across Beartooth Plateau, up to Minnesota, and all the way to California. All goes well, until Paul and Babe start to feel sick. Hmmm, what could be the cause?

Matt Luckhurst's fascination with Paul Bunyan is contagious, and his version of this legendary folktale is both humorous and informative. Vibrant, action-packed, and carefully detailed illustrations fill the pages and will captivate a young audience. In addition, I love the innovative text design with letters drawn to express the meaning of the word (the word "mess" literally drips, the word "rocky" shakes, and the word "grow" blooms). This story is definitely a valuable addition to Paul Bunyan folklore. Readers will be inspired to learn more about Paul and Babe, and they are sure to be eating carrots while they do their research!



What You Need to Know:
  • This book offers a unique twist on the traditional story of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
  • Kids learn from Paul Bunyan's example, that eating healthy is the ticket to feeling good.
  • Paul and Babe travel across the country, logging the land and eating pancakes.
  • The Author's Note explains the inspiration behind his story and the research that went into writing it.
  • This is Matt Luckhurst's first picture book.
If you liked this book, try:
  • The Greedy Sparrow by Lucine Kasbarian
  • Mudball by Matt Tavares
  • The Man in the Moon by William Joyce
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