Blurp’s Book of Manners

Roaring Brook. Dec. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250810359.
Gr 1-4–Bespectacled Ms. Picklepop has several lessons on manners to impart to readers, a stand-in for her student. Soon after she begins her first lesson on “How to properly introduce yourself,” however, a strange blue blob enters the picture and interrupts the lesson. She interacts with readers to ignore the interruption, but the blob is soon revealed to be a creature who can’t help but disrupt every lesson with a loud sound and messy splashes of color. The creature, whose name is Mr. Blurp, is mostly noisy and causes a huge mess; however, its behavior ranges from troublesome, knocking Ms. Picklepop down, to perhaps frightening, when it eats a neighbor’s pet. Human and creature eventually get along; after all Ms. Picklepop’s final lesson is to “Be considerate.” The illustrations, a combination of collaged photographs, colorful drawings, and “splattering ink and watercolor from across the room” (according to the publisher’s information) miss the mark and tend to distract from, rather than enhance the humor in the story. Compounding this is that the book runs long. Humans are depicted with blue or green skin.
VERDICT Though kids may giggle at the silly dialogue and potty humor, the story never quite comes together.

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