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Benny's Brigadeby Arthur Bradford
Synopses & Reviews
"Bradford and Hanawalt make their children's book debut with a slow, surreal outdoor adventure that begins when sisters Elsie and Theo discover a 'strange nut wiggling on the ground' as they walk to school. Stranger still, when they pry it open, they find a miniature walrus named Benny inside. 'I really don't know how it happened,' he tells them. Benny accompanies the sisters to school, but longs to return to the ocean. The girls and their classmates build him a vessel from a milk carton, complete with a crew of 'three healthy, fat slugs, ready for adventure.' Hanawalt capitalizes on the plot's inherent oddness in neatly drafted panoramas dotted with solemn-looking insects, lizards, frogs, and elaborately plumed birds — readers may suspect that Benny isn't the only animal with a story. Bradford's non-ending, though, lands with a thud; the sunset-colored closing scene (replicated on a large foldout poster printed on the book jacket) shows an island Peaceable Kingdom of seals, slugs, and snails, along with the non sequitur, 'And this is why you never know what wonderful creatures you might find living on an island.' Ages 4 — 8." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
At recess one day, sisters Elsie and Theo spy a nut wiggling on the ground. Out pops Benny—the worlds smallest and most gentlemanly walrus. After the girls learn that Benny misses his home in the sea, they send him sailing in a milk-carton boat, along with a trusty band of adventure-seeking slugs. Together, Bennys Brigade (as they call themselves) begin their voyage to a truck-sized island paradise, avoiding the salt water as much as they can. Slugs dont like salt.
About the Author
Arthur Bradford is an O. Henry Award winning writer and filmmaker. His writing has appeared in Esquire, McSweeney's, Vice, Zoetrope, Men's Journal, and many other publications. His first book, Dogwalker, was published by Knopf in 2001 and Vintage paperback in 2002. It has been translated into nine languages.
Bradford is also the creator and director of the acclaimed "How's Your News?" documentary series, versions of which have been broadcast on HBO/Cinemax, PBS, and Channel Four England. Most recently Bradford developed the concept into a series for MTV which ran throughout 2009. He has also directed several shorts and music videos.
Bradford lives in Portland, Oregon and serves as co-director of Camp Jabberwocky, the nation's longest running residential summer camp for people with disabilities.
Lisa Hanawalt lives in Brooklyn and was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA. She got an art degree at UCLA in 2006. She has received multiple awards for her comic books (2009 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Mini-Comic and 2010 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Comic) and is pretty good at mimicking the sounds of animals.
Clients and publications include: The NY Times, Chronicle Books, Vice Magazine, McSweeneys, The Believer, Arthur Magazine, Motion Theory, LA Weekly, and Teefury.
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Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories