Something Terrific For Perfect Picture Book Friday!

I finally replaced my blog banner of the scenic, lake photograph. The change was long overdue. I wasn’t sure what kid-friendly banner I should replace it with, though. I came up with a bookshelf inhabited by a fluffy cat, but my daughter thought I needed to go in a different direction. “I think you should paint a school bus filled with happy kids,” she said. So, I did.  Now, onto my picture book review.

I pulled out one of my favorite books to share with you today. Along with my love of nature books, I also have a love for seriously unique characters. Once you read the book, Terrific, by Jon Agee, you’ll agree that the main character, with his pessimistic nature, is quite unique. Just look at his face on the cover. With one illustration, you know laughs will be plentiful.


Written by- Jon Agee

Illustrated by – Jon Agee

Published by- Dial Books for Young Readers – 2005

Topics – Unlikely friendships, pessimism, change of heart.

Opening – Much to his surprise, Eugene was the lucky winner of an all-expense-paid cruise to Bermuda.

“Terrific,” he said. “I’ll probably get a really nasty sunburn.”

But on the way there, the ship ran into a terrible storm. Everyone was rescued, except for Eugene.

“Terrific,” he said. “I’ll probably get devoured by sharks.”

Synopsis from Amazon – “Terrific,” says Eugene, after winning an all-expenses-paid vacation in Bermuda. “I’ll probably get a really nasty sunburn.” Unfortunately, Eugene’s luck is a lot worse than that. First, his cruise ship sinks, then he ends up stranded on a tiny island. But Eugene isn’t alone. There’s another castaway, a parrot with a busted wing, who tells him what there is to eat and drink and how to build a sailboat. Cranky Eugene pays attention, and his luck begins to change.

Why do I like this book? I can’t resist snarky humor. Now sprinkle snarky humor over a pessimist and you’ve got, (in my opinion) a winning combination for a memorable character which makes for an unforgettable, must-have picture book.  And the illustrations you might be asking about. “Are they pretty good?”  They’re better than pretty good. Jon Agee has a talent for illustrating emotion that not only fits the mood of his characters but ups the humor straight through the ceiling. Check out this book, and you’ll see what I mean.

Hop over to Joh Agee’s web site HERE.

Publishers Weekly Q and A with Jon Agee HERE.

Until next Friday!


  1. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Love the new header! Great work Leslie.
    I will look for TERRIFIC – an Agee I’ve missed!

    • Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

      I still remember the day the librarian asked if I had ever read one of Jon Agee’s picture books. At the time, I hadn’t heard of him. I got comfy beside the shelf where his books were stacked and read one after another. Then, I checked them all out, brought them home, and loved reading them again. His book, Terrific, is just that… It’s terrific!

  2. Ann Wendel

    Love your new blog banner! You should change your title to Leslie Leibhardt Goodman Children’s Writer/Painter!!

  3. Beth Anderson

    I’m a fan of Jon Agee. Can’t wait to see this one!

    • Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

      Whenever I read one of Jon Agee’s books, I always say, “This one is my absolute favorite.” Then, I read another one of his books and say that again. Honestly, all of his books are as terrific as his book, Terrific.

  4. Jill Proctor

    I love your new banner! Your artistry is beautiful! And ‘Terrific’ sounds terrific. I, too, love snarky humor. I’ll have to look for it. (Apparently you had my old email address, which I never check anymore. So I’ve re-registered with my present address.) I look forward to reading your childhood memories and reviews.

    • Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Jill. If you like snarky humor, this book hits the spot to perfection.

  5. Patricia Tilton

    I really love your new header. Bright, cheery and kid-friendly.
    Snarky humor sounds like fun. The cover puts a smile on your face! Will have to check out Agee’s books.

    • Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

      You’re in for a real treat with Jon Agee’s books. Like I wrote in this post, I loved his books so much, I had to check out every single one my library owned so I could enjoy reading them again and again.

  6. Maria Marshall

    I’m gonna have to check this out. The snarky voice is awesome. Thanks for mentioning this one. 🙂

    • Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

      Hi, Maria! The voice of Eugene in this book is quite unusual in a picture book. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons I love TERRIFIC so much.

  7. ptnozell

    Love the new banner! Terrific looks like a terrifically fun read, too!

  8. Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer

    Thank you for both kind comments. I hope you’ll look for TERRIFIC at your library and enjoy it as much as I do.