by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris
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Content: It looks like a lot, so it may be intimidating to some kids. It’s in the Middle Grade Graphic Novel section of the bookstore.
Back in the early days of the pandemic, say April of 2022, Mac Barnett (bless him) decided to start a lunchtime stoytime where he would sit and read one of his books. (He was written a lot!) He live-streamed them on Instagram, which was its own brand of charming (with guest and regular tech issues). It grew to be a whole thing, including a Joke corner (with jokes submitted by kids) and sound effects (done by Mac’s wife) appearances from Henry the Dog, and once a week or so, an episode of The First Ct in Space. Mac would write the scripts, Shawn (Mac’s best friend and racquetball nemesis) would draw and film them, and they both would do the voices. It was dumb and silly and exactly what we ended during the first year of the pandemic.
All this to say: those episodes became this book. And it’s very much in the spirit of those: silly, kind of stupid, full of dumb jokes, and absolutely charming. I giggled my way through this (I completely jive with Mac’s sense of humor), and even though the plot is really dumb, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re having a good time reading it, you’re checking out the Spotify playlist to hear the Ballad of Captain Babybeard, and you’re forgetting about the problems in the world for a bit.
Honestly, that is the best sort of book, really.