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|Melvin the Mouth|
Author: Blanc, Katherine
Melvin the Mouth cannot resist making a variety of strange noises as he imagines himself as a dragon, a shark, or perhaps a train--but his talent gets him into trouble at school.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (11/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2017 In a scandalously overdue introduction to Mel Blanc—the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian, and approximately 1,500 other characters—from his daughter-in-law, hyperactive young Melvin (“fastest mouth in the world!”) sets school halls ringing as a roaring tiger and whooshing locomotive, becomes a whirling tornado when asked to sweep the floor at home, a hungry hippo at dinner, and finally ends his day (as he began) by impersonating a hissing dragon. Ebbeler dresses the lad, and the discombobulated adults around him, in buttoned-up early-twentieth-century garb and superimposes ghostly black-and-white renditions of Mel’s adopted personas over the genteel settings. If a few anachronisms sneak in, notably references to a “rocket in space” and Melvin using his “robot voice” to count down, views of him leaning insouciantly on an elbow while munching a carrot, or laughing like a certain woodpecker more than compensate as sly visual gags. The author adds an afterword with family photos of her renowned relative as a child and an adult to this exuberant fictionalized tribute. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2017 K-Gr 2—Mel Blanc, aka the "Man of a 1,000 Voices," is the star of this rollicking, exuberant picture book biography. Melvin, who was born in 1908, is depicted here dressed in a suit with short pants and a tie. He's first seen terrorizing his cat and laughing like Woody Woodpecker before insisting to his parents that he's a dragon. His imaginary ink-drawn dragon looms over him. At school, he can't sit still and makes noises wherever and whenever he pleases, earning himself trash duty for recess and a "speeding ticket." His classmates aren't sure what to make of him. At home, his supportive yet exhausted parents try to rein him in. But chores turn disastrous as the large-headed, bug-eyed youngster simply cannot be contained. The illustrations combine watercolor and ink drawings and Adobe Photoshop, along with hand-lettered sound effects that swoop and swirl across spreads that contain fun period details. While much of the narrative is fictionalized, a short biographical note follows. VERDICT Reading this book aloud will guarantee a boisterous romp of a story time in a library or classroom setting, especially if time is set aside to share some well-chosen clips of Blanc's work.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.