Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kid Lit - Little Woody Stories by Woody Dykes

Welcome to the Kid Lit Blog Hop!!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
Our Co-Hostess for This Week:

What a fun way to share Kid Lit!! I don't often review Kid Lit, but I see a lot of it. Lol. (Being around a few kids on a daily basis & volunteering at the school library for starters.) Being naturally opinionated, I have lots of thoughts. However.... I don't feel as confident in sharing ratings, quite honestly. Do you ever step out of your comfort zone and feel a little lost?

This Kid Lit hop is an every-other-week sort of get-together, which is just not-weekly enough that it might work for me. Because... I have a few REVIEW BOOKS that fall under Kid Lit that I am so happy to share!!

Little Woody StoriesLittle Woody Stories 
by Woody Dykes
Paperback, 150 pages
Published Febrary 2012 by Mariner Publishing


Don't try this at home!

Some lessons come easy, some don't. In Little Woody Stories, Woody Dykes presents a humorous look at some of the antics from his life growing up. These stores - all true - will leave you wondering how he survived his childhood.

Woody and his friends filled their days with wild imagination and often reckless behavior that only boys at ages six to eleven can conjure. Each of the stories ends with a short hilarious summary of "Lessons Learned" from each experience.

This book will interest all ages and is a perfect book for fathers and grandfathers to read to their children and grandchildren. The stories open up an avenue for you to remember your own adventures and offer the perfect springboard for sharing your own childhood adventures with your family. 

Each tale is beautifully illustrated in simple pen and ink. The illustrator, Katie Knudson, started illustrating this book while still a student in high school and is now a freshman at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. The book concludes with actual photos of the Rutan Street neighborhood where Dykes grew up in Wichita, Kansas.

My Review:

First, I love the energy captured in these stories. One of the reasons I was eager to review this book was this list, shared by the publisher when they contacted me:

Did you ever...

... dig in the alley for treasure
...jump off the garage roof a tree house
...have Roman candle wars
...make homemade rockets

I had to laugh. I do have a story of jumping off a roof, but this list reminds me of stories I've heard, stories of a different age. When I received the copy, it did not disappoint!!

Each story is a bit crazy. The kid in me grew mischievous and creative as I read about the antics of Woody and his two friends. Whereas the mom in me gasped and considered whether this was appropriate material for my kids to read. It is almost unbelievable, except I've heard stories from my dad and grandpa and they carried the same no-nonsense flavor of "this is what we did" while talking about the most outlandish things.

Let's take a random example... you gotta love this. 

For Christmas Woody got a Red Ryder BB gun. (Oh yes, just wait.) It takes him a bit to figure out how to cock it, but then he's hitting all the fence posts accurately in no time. (I'm paraphrasing.) One relative announces his skills to another, and they decide to take Woody and his new gun out back to shoot a chicken for Christmas dinner. (I don't know whether to laugh or run away.) Chickens run fast, so it takes 9 shots before he kills one and two men and little boy triumphantly return with the chicken for Christmas dinner. Only... the other 8 die, too... so they end up with lots of chicken dinners in a row that week.  The "Lesson Learned" at the end of the chapter is 1 - Chicken tastes like Chicken and 2 - Know your target.

See what I mean?!

The stories are all beyond this day -n- age. They almost need to be read aloud so audience and reader alike can laugh and share stories of "remember when".

For me there is a deep, serious undertone. I remember stories, as I mentioned, but none of my relatives wrote them down. Woody Dykes did. Woody wrote them for grandpas everywhere who didn't. In sharing these stories, he has captured a time in history that is being forgotten. When I read these stories, I remember tidbits my grandpa shared with me, things I'd forgotten. Whoever reads these stories will suddenly remember.
It is a perfect book for fathers and grandfathers to read to their children and grandchildren.
It's "perfect" because of the memories it triggers. This book will bring up all sorts of discussions that just wouldn't happen under day-to-day life, anymore.

Maybe this is a narrow target audience, but anyone who once knew stories from a by-gone age should get this book to share with new generations. It is not a book to hand over to a six-to-eleven year old and say "enjoy". It needs to be discussed and kids need to see parents and grandparents reacting to the situations. The humor in the "Lessons Learned" is grown up, sarcastic and dry. The type is big enough for old and young eyes. The pictures are perfect and entertaining, exactly fitting the scene.

This book is so true that it might be in danger of censorship in the future. These adventures aren't allowed anymore, if you know what I mean. I'm so glad some people recognized them as worth sharing and put them together in a book.

My Rating?  For the appropriate audience, this book is 5 - 5 - 5 - 5. Because it is a relationship-builder, crossing generations.

About the Author & Illustrator:

Raised in Wichita, Kansas, Woody Dykes attended Wichita
State University. He competed in the 1964 Olympic trials
for springboard diving and became an instructor in 32
different sports. After relocating to Virginia in 1970,
Mr. Dykes was the director of a large park authority.
In 1980 he opened the second largest arcade system in
Northern Virginia.
Today, Mr. Dykes is the firearms historian for
the Lexington Armory in the Shenandoah Valley of
Virginia. In his spare time he runs a NASCAR garage,
Two Dogs Racing Inc., which builds cars for NASCAR’s
short track racing program. At the age of 69 Woody is
still jumping around a garage.

Katie Knudson was a senior in high school in
Lexington, Virginia, when her art teacher, Pam
Tinsley, found out about the opportunity to illustrate
Woody Dyke’s book. She worked on the project
all summer—it was an amazing opportunity for a
17-year-old, and it gave her a taste of what life as
a professional artist would be like. She is now a
freshman at Ringling College of Art and Design in
Sarasota, Florida, where she is a Computer Animation
Katie is an avid reader, enjoys movies and
being with her friends. Her dream is to one day
work at Pixar, DreamWorks, or another animation

Get Your Copy: - direct from publisher

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