Reviews for That's Not Funny!

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Hyena plays a joke by placing a banana peel in Giraffe's path. This launches a chain of events that causes discomfort to Hippo, Snake, Ostrich, and other creatures. Although Hyena laughs hysterically, he receives his comeuppance when he falls in "a huge, steaming heap of Elephant's poo!" Bright, cartoony illustrations aptly picture the marginally funny story's chaotic events. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 August #1
Hyena gets a taste of his own mischievous medicine. Just for fun, he places a banana peel in Giraffe's path and, sure enough, Giraffe slips and skids into a tree. This knocks loose a coconut that falls right on Hippo's head. Hyena laughs uncontrollably, even as both Hippo and Giraffe cry, "That's not funny!" Hippo's dizziness sets off a chain reaction involving Snake, Ostrich, Rhino, Turtle, Vulture, Zebra, Cheetah, Wildebeest and, ultimately, Elephant. Through it all, Hyena laughs uproariously. He gets his just deserts, though, when he slips on the same banana peel and ends up in a steaming heap of elephant poo. When Hyena declares loudly that "It's not funny!" what do you think all the other animals do? Willis's text is nicely streamlined for maximum slapstick effect and much abetted by the clever compositions of Reynolds's illustrations. His brightly colored animals look soft and cuddly, like stuffed toys, but they move like classic Looney Tunes characters. Sure to trigger young listeners' laughter as well. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 September #2

With the careful placement of a banana peel, a hyena with a serious case of schadenfreude sets off a chaotic series of misfortunes. Giraffe slips on the peel and skids "straight into a tree--KER-RANG!" which causes a coconut to fall on Hippo, making him step on Snake, who bites Ostrich, and so on. Hyena, ignoring his friends' indignant repetition of the phrase "That's not funny!" cackles away--until his prank lands him in a pile of elephant poop. Reynolds--who previously worked with Willis on Who's in the Bathroom?--contributes cartoony watercolors that play up the numerous animals' expressions of anger and shock. The message is more "what goes around comes around" than "be nice"--as Hyena slinks away into the sunset, the other animals, who so resented Hyena's howling, guffaw just as heartily at Hyena's predicament as he did at theirs. Those looking for a morality lesson won't find it--this story is all about the pratfall. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

PreS-Gr 1--When Hyena puts a banana peel on Giraffe's path, he sets off a chain of events that he finds extremely hilarious. He laughs and laughs at the other animals' misfortunes--a coconut falls on Hippo's head, Snake gets stepped on, Rhino tumbles into the swamp, Turtle lands on Vulture, etc.--while they exclaim, "That's not funny!" The joke, of course, is on Hyena when he slips on the forgotten peel and steps into a huge, steaming pile of Elephant's poo, causing all the other animals to laugh. Children will love the large, colorful illustrations that clearly show each animal's pain and anger in a fun and cartoony way. The text placement is fairly interactive with the pictures, and there are plenty of onomatopoeic words ("Bink!" "Ker-rang!" etc.). Good for reading aloud and sure to be popular with the storytime crowd.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

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