Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler (review)
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Reviewed by
Cuyler, Margery Bonaparte Falls Apart; illus. by Will Terry. Crown, 2017 [34p]
Library ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93769-3 $20.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93768-6 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R 4-7 yrs

In this Halloween-ready tale, the most ordinary motions cause little skeleton Bonaparte to shed body parts. The impact of a baseball severs his arm at the shoulder; pedaling a bicycle takes his leg off at the knee; his skull has been known to roll under the bed. Monster friends leave “no bone unturned” in their pursuit of a solution to their buddy’s dilemma, but unfortunately Frankenstein’s monster’s lab glue is so effective Bonaparte can’t move; Spider’s tight web pulls him to the ceiling; and when Mummy tries wrapping him up, Bonaparte can’t see. The problem is solved by adopting an amiable pooch, whose delight in games of fetch make him the perfect retriever for Bonaparte’s scattered parts. Snatching up Bonaparte’s airborne lower teeth (which flew off in the lunchroom) is “a jaw-dropping sensation.” Terry’s monster cast, with oversized Peanuts-styled heads, smiley faces, and comfortingly rounded contours, sends strong visual signals that this is all more silly than scary, making the title a great choice for little kids who want the fun but not the spookiness of the holiday.

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