Monday, May 30, 2011

Fowl Play

Doreen Cronin's newest book is being praised for its deadpan humor. This type of humor has a long tradition in mystery detective stories. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines deadpan as "showing no feeling or emotion — used to describe humor that is done or said in a serious way". 

One of the first examples that came to my mind was from Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective written and illustrated by David Biedrzycki. If you haven't seen this book check it out or use your local libraries' TumbleBooks account to view the animated version. Here is a great example of Ace's deadpan humor. Ace has received a phone call:
"It was Mayor Buzzbee. Behind him it sounded like a beehive of activity. Actually, it was a beehive."
These lines are deadpan because Ace is completely serious when he says them (listening to the TumbleBooks version really helps to hear what deadpan humor sounds like). Ace Lacewing also has a bunch of wordplay - if you like that sort of thing.

Written by Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Published by HarperCollins (2011)

Funny! Hilarious! A real knee-slapper! This is how I would describe Cronin's new chapter book. She is a favorite author of mine with such classics as Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Fly illustrated by Harry Bliss.

Jonathan Joseph (J.J. for short) Tulley is a retired search-and-rescue dog. One of his many naps is interrupted by an irritated mother hen named Moosh. She has a big problem and wants J.J. to help her solve it. When they agree on the terms of his employment J.J. observes, with a deadpan tone, "I thought she smiled, but it's tough to tell with a beak".

What is the mystery ? Can you see the problem in these pages?

If this style of humor makes you laugh out loud The Trouble with Chickens is perfect for you. This is the first book in the J.J. Tully Mystery series.

1 comment:

  1. The Trouble with Chickens looks like such a fun book. I'll have to check it out! :)