Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reader's Diary #508- Mark Stamaty: Who Needs Donuts?

I had to make sure the cover was as big as I could possibly make it, just so you'd have some idea of the intricate pictures found in Mark Stamaty's brilliant Who Needs Donuts? Even at this size, I fear you'll miss some of the humour, eccentricity and wit. But to help you out, the billboard next to the title is advertising "String Bean Cola," that's a small tree growing out of a pipe, and one of the rare books for sale is titled 499 Ways To Simplify Your Life.

Oh how I love this book. I first got this from the library for my kids back in the winter. It was with great reluctance that I returned it on the due date. It's been checked out ever since but finally, I've managed to get my hands on it again. And this time when I need to return it, I'll be buying a copy of my own.

Who Needs Donuts? is the story of a boy named Sam who runs away to the big city in search of the ultimate supply of donuts. Upon his arrival he befriends a fellow donut collector, the zany, paisley-clad Mr. Bikferd. (My wife has some issues with this part, especially as Mr. Bikferd invites Sam back to his darkened warehouse. However, I think a simple, "in real life, you should never go with a stranger" message suffices when reading it to kids). As the two set off across the city to gather as many donuts as they can, the only one to question their actions is a Sad Old Lady who asks, "Who needs donuts when you've got love?" Predictably, the question becomes relevant as Mr. Bikferd falls in love with a pretzel lady and abandons Sam and the mission. However, Sam is kept busy as he finds himself rescuing the Sad Old Lady from a coffee flood. Finally, having his fill of adventure, Sam too gives up on donuts and returns home.

The story is fun enough but the real delight with this book is the artwork. I've read the book over a dozen times now and I still find new puns, interesting characters, and visual gags. Anyone who enjoys sitting in the heart of a busy city and simply taking in the wild sights and sounds will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you don't have kids!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love children's books and was a more than a little sad when my kids outgrew them. The number of books I kept for the hoped-for grandchildren is ridiculous but it sounds like this is one I need to pick up. And maybe even enjoy myself for a while first!