Angleberger, Tom. 2014. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus. Recorded Books.
Sometimes you get lucky. I've had the opportunity to meet Tom Angleberger several times (including a Skype visit with my book club), I've had an enthusiastic group of Origami Yoda fans that frequent my library, and most recently, I won a copy of Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus from Recorded Books (more on that in a minute).
Since the first time I read and reviewed The Strange Case of Origami in 2010, I've been a fan, and so have legions of kids. In addition to the fact that Tom Angleberger's writing style is perceptive, relevant, and flat-out funny; he, himself, is a great part of his success. Just check his website, or his presence on Twitter (@origamiyoda). He is unfailingly polite, positive, and accessible. Kids love him and he loves them right back.
Back to Emperor Pickletine... so, I entered the Recorded Books contest because I hoped to win something for my book club members. With rare exception, after I've read them, I give away any book I receive gratis. Lucky me! Not only did I receive the audio book, I received an Emperor Pickletine standee, some origami paper, and the biggest hit of all - pickle stickers - and boy, did they stink!
I was a little unsure about an audio book version of an illustrated book, however. Would it be as good? How can a narrator explain a comic? Will kids like it?
I discovered that, yes, it is as good. The Origami Yoda books are written as "case files" with multiple students from McQuarrie Middle School contributing to each file. The audio book version enhances that format because there is a cast of narrators, making it easy to differentiate between the student contributors.
It's difficult to explain exactly how the printed illustrations from the book are narrated, because I don't have a transcript, but I can assure you that they retain their humor and flow easily into the narrative. I was pleasantly surprised by this.
Will kids like it? My book club meets next week, but I already have two kids who have let me know that they are already audio book fans. I'm sure they'll like it. I did.
In the final chapter, Origami Yoda (voiced by none other than Tom Angleberger himself!) is heard to say,
"The end this is not,"however, this is the end of the series. And yes, you will find out if Origami Yoda is indeed real.
A fond farewell, Origami Yoda! You'll be sorely missed.
My reviews of other Tom Angleberger books:
- The QwikPick Papers: Poop Fountain
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
- Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset
- Fake Mustache: How Jodie O'Rodeo and her Wonder Horse (and some nerdy kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind