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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Pun Me! Art’s Supplies

Book CoverArt’s Supplies by author: Chris Tougas
9781551439204  Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: March/01/2008 Price: $19.95 

I respectfully disagree with Betsy. Recently she wrote that Laurie Keller is the "Queen of the Inanimate." While I enjoy Laurie’s work, Chris Tougas is going to knock her off her throne with Art’s Supplies. 

What? You haven’t seen Art’s Supplies yet? Maybe because it is published by Orca Book Publishers. Orca is "Western Canada’s premier children’s publisher" and distributes their and 7 other Canadian publishing companies books in the U.S.  It is so easy to set aside catalogs from publishers that we think aren’t writing for us. But, oh, what you will miss. This month I’ll try to showcase some of their titles which will go over very well with our students.

Poor art bloggers are all out of town so the task of blogging about this book fell upon my shoulders. I may give them the opportunity to contribute more "artistic" information, but for now this book is MINE.  I shared this with several art teachers in person and with one on the phone. The elementary art teachers took one look and said, "Oh, no, it’s every art pun out there in a story. Including the kindergarten puns!" Don’t worry, Chris’ illustrations knocked them off their feet. Tisch on the phone was enthusiastic about watching the fourth graders reactions.

She pointed out that parents might never choose an "art book" to read as a bed time story, but that this would be a winner. (I think Betsy would disagree)  I think I’d still prefer this to be a book during school because the puns are going to roll those children out of bed from laughing so hard. 

There are many levels of humor in Art’s Supplies. If the humor tickles the adults more than children in just a couple cases, they won’t notice because they will be enthusiastically reading each of the supplies’ words throughout the pages.  There is plenty of humor for the very young throughout and I consider the variety of humor a strong point in keeping interest rolling throughout the story. 

Dear, Chris, I have to confess. I have a crush on the scissors. They are my favorite character in this book. While Art himself reminds me of David through his simplicity of line, the tiny details throughout the story are very sophisticated. There is a tremendous amount on most pages. 

This is good because I asked two 18 year olds to read Art’s Supplies for me and they expressed concern that some student would go up to an adult and ask them about "the runs." I doublechecked this with my specialists (kids) and they all knew what the runs were. They thought a marker with the runs would be hysterical. 

I learned from this that 18 year olds might be still at that age where they think they remember being young, but are overprotective (aka censors) as to what children "should and shouldn’t" be reading. I’m going to have to go check this out with young teachers and librarians to see if they have the same response. 

In the meantime, put Art’s Supplies on your fall list. Your art teachers are going to LOVE you. Order extra copies so there is always one available for the students, too. Your third and fourth graders will be requesting this again and again.


  1. NICE