Tonight’s old favorite isn’t that old as children’s books go, nor is it that well-known. But it IS one of my favorites, and has been since it came out in 1987. Why? Because it’s FUNNY; laugh-out-loud, slap-your-knee funny. It’s also perfect for summer reading.
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This Island Isn’t Big Enough for the Four of Us! by Gery Greer and Bob Ruddick.
Scott and his buddy Pete have finally convinced their parents that they are responsible enough to camp out on their own for a week…and they’ve found the perfect spot. An island in the middle of a lake, far from any signs of civilization, uninhabited by anyone.
Their trip starts with a whimper, as they promise to test a tent for Scott’s Uncle Ted. A Tiny Tot Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread Tent, complete with gingerbread sides, candy accents and a roll-out walkway with pop-up cookie flowers. But it’s okay, no one is on the island to see them in this babies’ tent, right?
As they canoe to the island, Pete is enjoying the thought of all the exploring and mapping they’ll be doing. Approaching the beach, he stands at the bow of the canoe, proclaiming himself ‘friend to the eagle, brother of the moose’. Unfortunately, the snorting and giggling that shakes the bushes on the beach startle both the standing Pete and the paddling Scott to the point of capsizing the canoe. They drag themselves and all their drenched supplies to the beach, only to discover two girls their age–Jill and Sunny–who can barely contain their mirth.
When they find out that the girls are also camping on the island with Jill’s Aunt Katherine, they’re mortified. How can they explore the island if there’s someone already on it? How can they face the girls after that landing? How could they possibly be able to hold their heads high if the girls see their Tiny Tot Gingerbread Tent? There’s only one possible course of action…
The war between the girls and the boys is on. From vampire wolverines to rich turtles to treehouse escapes, the war rages. Jill and Sunny have Aunt Katherine, but Pete and Scott find Cornelius, a writer living on the island. With the two sides pretty equal, who will win?
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This is a great book to read aloud…it’s so much fun to do the different voices and interpret all the action! The boys and the girls are evenly matched and creative. Pranks are both comical and devious as each group of kids competes to be the all out champions of Turtle Island. Who will win? That would be telling!
Gery Greer and Bob Ruddick are a husband and wife writing team. We have several of their books…all of them are funny, and they range from about second grade level (the Jason and the Aliens books) to fourth or fifth grade level (Max and his Time Machine books) but This Island Isn’t Big Enough for the Four of Us! will always be my favorite. If you like funny books with kind of wacky characters, try a book by Gery Greer and Bob Ruddick.