|Pages/Publication Date:||32 / 2014|
The Simple family—Mom, Dad, Lulu, Ben, and pets Rocco (a dog) and Dizzy (a cat)—are a fun-loving bunch who decide to have a picnic, in this book for readers 4 to 8. "What's a picnic?" asks young Ben. "A picnic is when you pack food in a basket, spread out a blanket, and eat on the ground," Mom answers. But things turn out to be a bit more complicated than that at the park, with incoming soccer balls, busy ants, diving birds, and scampering squirrels—not to mention Dizzy, who will not be left at home. Looks like there's no picnic for the Simples—until Ben has an interesting idea. J.C. Phillipps's paper-collage cartoons and deliberately over-simplified text contrast hilariously with the unfolding disaster.
"In this entertaining read-aloud, a cheerful family can't seem to get through their picnic without problems. Who knew that squirrels and soccer balls could make a simple picnic so complicated? ... Phillipps introduces the family via individual, smiling portraits and utilizes colorful paper cut-out illustrations and bold-faced exclamations to capture the characters' dynamic chemistry and the kooky chaos that ensues. The underlying message comes through clearly beneath the high jinks: picnics are really about spending quality time with the people who matter most."—Booklist