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The Goods, Mac Barnett & Brian McMullen, editors

As described by McSweeney's, the original publisher, The Goods is 

a gallimaufry of games,
puzzles, comics, and other diversions, appearing in
newspapers across the U.S. and Canada. Each week, a
cavalcade of artists and writers from the world of children’s
books will contribute amusements that will enthrall kids and most
adults. Thoughtfully conceived and visually stunning, every issue of The
 will deliver a new collection of recurring features and new work.

Now The Goods is brought to readers in the awesome oversized all-in-one-book format from Big Picture Press. It's edited by an all-time favorite of mine, the multitalented Mac Barnett, author of many, many amazing books including last year's Caldecott Honor, Extra Yarn, and Brian McMullen, who edits and designs his own children's book series for McSweeney'sMcMullens, which I just spent an hour poring over and yes, buying books. The Goods is similar to other informational, activity laden inserts for kids that once appeared in newspapers (you may need to remind your children what a newspaper is) but much cooler. In fact, the only downside to this book is that it's SO COOL that I don't think I can stand to let my kids start writing in it and cutting it up. I'll just have to get a second copy!

I'm tempted to take up the rest of this space just listing all the cool contributors, but you'll have to settle for a partial list here: Annie Barrows (author of the Ivy + Bean series), Brian Biggs (author and illustrator of the Richard Scary-esque and totally awesome Everything Goes series), Carson Ellis (illustrator of the Wildwood Trilogy), Oliver Jeffers (many superb picture books, including Stuck), Jon Klassen (I Want My Hat Back, Extra Yarn, etc), Colin Meloy (author of the Wildwood Trilogy), Greg Pizzoli, who is brand new to picture books, his debut  The Watermelon Seed is absolutely charming, Matthew Myers, a brilliant artist and illustrator of the upcoming crazy good Birthday Battle Bunny written (well, rewritten, really) by Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka, also a contributor to The Goods. Aaron Renier, author and illustrator of the spectacular graphic novel The Unsinkable Walker Bean, THE ADAM REX, Christian Robinson (Rain is his debut, more good things to come!), Mo Willems and new(-ish) comer and stellar illustrator Brendan Wenzel round out the alphabet and make up about half of the list of contributors!

What sorts of activities, jokes, optical illusions, brain teasers, labyrinths and other goodies can you expect to find in the pages of  The Goods? The cover claims that there are "something like 174-ish different things to see in this book."

There are also Flora the Flapper paper dolls (six outfits and a fox stole!) by Brigette Barrager, Dinosaur cut-outs by Christian Robinson, Finger Hats by Adam Rex, Disguise the Spy Baby by Shawn Harris, Create your own exotic animal by Brendan Wenzel and more!

Kid's can learn semaphore, create new words with THE WORD MINT, find recipes on how to "cook with your face" (you have to see it for yourself...) and get tips on how to tell if your parents are aliens.

There are scavenger hunts, 19 hard to guess answers for your next game of 20 questions, the occasional "Dear Expert" column and hidden words and objects on every page.

Source: Review Copy


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