Reviews for Good News, Bad News


Booklist Reviews 2013 September #1
Offering a picnic basket, Rabbit announces, "Good News," to his friend Mouse, who then points at the approaching rain, warning, "Bad News." Rabbit shares an umbrella as "good news," but a strong wind prompts the rat to declare it "bad news." Ever the optimist, Rabbit proposes "good news" solutions, and pessimistic Mouse grouses about the dangers, until the roles reverse as the sun emerges, perfect for a picnic. Reminiscent of Remy Charlip's Fortunately (1964), this, too, has an ending twist with Mouse's change of heart. While the text uses just four words, the cartoon-style mixed media art quickly establishes the distinctive personalities on the cover and title page. Rabbit's consistently broad smile contrasts with Mouse's expressions, which grow increasingly more exasperated. The expressive illustrations are large enough for groups of children, who will eagerly anticipate the predictable pattern. The four-word vocabulary also makes this a satisfying book for new readers. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
A slaphappy-looking rabbit holds up a picnic basket ("Good news!"); a raindrop plunks the rabbit's friend, a skeptical mouse, on the head ("Bad news"). And so it goes until the friends are back where they started, and then some. Cartoony mixed-media art lends itself to the book's comic moments, but it also imbues the animals with improbable sensitivity.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
A slaphappy-looking rabbit holds up a picnic basket ("Good news!"); a raindrop plunks the rabbit's friend, a skeptical mouse, on the head ("Bad news"). The rabbit produces an umbrella ("Good news"); a gust of wind carries off the umbrella-clutching mouse ("Bad news"). And so it goes until the friends are back where they started, and then some. Mack isn't the first author to put the teeter-tottering-perspective concept to work in a picture book: see Remy Charlip's classic Fortunately (1964), Margery Cuyler's That's Good! That's Bad! (1991), and Michael Foreman's Fortunately, Unfortunately (2011). But Good News, Bad News has something the previous books don't: character development resulting in a story-crowning surprise -- for the reader and for the rabbit. Mack's cartoony mixed-media art lends itself to the book's comic moments (the beleaguered mouse could be a "Looney Tunes" dupe), but he also imbues the animals with improbable sensitivity. If he didn't, Good News, Bad News wouldn't amount to more than slapstick and schtick. Instead, for young readers who see humor as a means rather than an end, this offering is, to borrow the rabbit's two words, good news. nell beram

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #2
Working from a text composed solely of the titular phrases (plus one final qualifier) in an ongoing call and response, Mack depicts a day among friends whose dispositions couldn't be more extreme. Rabbit is an optimist; framed by a soft, white cloud, he exhibits an overflowing picnic basket joyfully to his buddy. An ominous, grey formation shades Mouse's skeptical reaction. When the storm begins, the fun-lover produces an umbrella; the frowner is blown into a tree. Happily, it's an apple tree. Unhappily, the fruit descends forcefully on the fallen rodent. So it proceeds in a fashion reminiscent of Remy Charlip's Fortunately (1964). The difference here is that viewers see the events through two distinct lenses, and the pair are not only experiencing the same situations, they are mindful of one another's reactions. The artist manipulates body language and facial features to register a range of emotions through caricatures with personality to spare. Endpapers divided into 18 squares contain images than can inspire a variety of storytelling behaviors from prediction to sequencing. When a bear chases the duo up a flagpole, and lightning fries them to charred silhouettes ( la cartoons of yesteryear--sensitive readers beware), Rabbit's worldview is clearly rocked, but now it is Mouse's turn to find the silver lining. An instructive and entertaining primer on the art of friendship and the complexity of joy. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
Working from a text composed solely of the titular phrases (plus one final qualifier) in an ongoing call and response, Mack depicts a day among friends whose dispositions couldn't be more extreme. Rabbit is an optimist; framed by a soft, white cloud, he exhibits an overflowing picnic basket joyfully to his buddy. An ominous, grey formation shades Mouse's skeptical reaction. When the storm begins, the fun-lover produces an umbrella; the frowner is blown into a tree. Happily, it's an apple tree. Unhappily, the fruit descends forcefully on the fallen rodent. So it proceeds in a fashion reminiscent of Remy Charlip's Fortunately (1964). The difference here is that viewers see the events through two distinct lenses, and the pair are not only experiencing the same situations, they are mindful of one another's reactions. The artist manipulates body language and facial features to register a range of emotions through caricatures with personality to spare. Endpapers divided into 18 squares contain images than can inspire a variety of storytelling behaviors from prediction to sequencing. When a bear chases the duo up a flagpole, and lightning fries them to charred silhouettes ( la cartoons of yesteryear--sensitive readers beware), Rabbit's worldview is clearly rocked, but now it is Mouse's turn to find the silver lining. An instructive and entertaining primer on the art of friendship and the complexity of joy. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 January/February
This is the story of Mouse and Rabbit going on a picnic. The friends are totally opposite, Rabbit finds good in everything and Mouse finds the bad. By the end of the book, the mouse recognizes his negativity and acknowledges the Good News. The author uses only four words throughout the book-"Good News, Bad News." The illustrations are simple, yet the illustrator creates expressions and actions of the animals that enhance the text by expressing the reasons for Good News and Bad News. Each Good event turns into a Bad situation and then back into a Good one. This is a wonderful book for English Language Learners and would make a great read-aloud for storytimes. Marilyn Teicher, Library Media Specialist, P.S 86x, Bronx, New York [Editor's Note: An activity kit is available on the publisher's website.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 June #4

Mack's clever book may follow the format of Remy Charles's Fortunately, Unfortunately, but his take on the theme is flat-out hilarious. Apart from the closing line, the text contains only the four words of the title. "Good news!" says a cheerful rabbit, showing a picnic basket to a mouse seen leaning out of its hole. "Bad news," says the mouse as rain begins to fall. The rabbit is ready with an umbrella ("Good news"), but the mouse blows away after grabbing it ("Bad news"). Mack's mixed-media illustrations are both slapstick and droll as the duo fights off bees, runs from a rampaging bear, and gets hit by lightning. When the mouse loses its temper in a two-page tantrum, the rabbit's spirits finally plummet. Mack (Frog and Fly) portrays the rabbit in a puddle of tears, and amusingly depicts the mouse's epiphany with the sun breaking through the clouds, as if the book were a Cecil B. DeMille movie. This well-executed, rapid-fire book should satisfy even the most resistant readers. Ages 3-6. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 August

PreS-Gr 1---When optimistic Rabbit and unlucky Mouse go on a picnic, there is plenty of good news and bad news. Some good news-umbrella, apples, cake, cave. Some bad news-rain, worms, bees, bear. Unfortunately, all the bad seems to happen to Mouse, who eventually has a hissy fit that makes Rabbit cry. But as the sun breaks through the clouds, Mouse makes it all better with a peace offering of the picnic basket and a hug. Mack creates a solid story arc using only the phrases "good news"/"bad news," and his illustrations. Indeed, the art is the heart of this picture book, offering excellent depictions of events and facial expressions. When Mouse finally snaps, his understandable anger and frustration come through loud and clear. This title fits into the niche containing Remy Charlip's Fortunately (S & S, 1984) and Michael Foreman's Fortunately, Unfortunately (Andersen, 2011). Good for storytimes or independent reading or independent looking.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

[Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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