Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? text by Jory John and illustrations by Liz Climo had the potential to be the funny book of the year. Sadly, it only gets a small chuckle. At best. Once again, I dislike having to say I am sorry but I am not the reader for your work dear author and illustrator.
Elephant’s massive itch is one nobody can scratch until one friend finally knows how to help. However, how Elephant treats this friend is not funny. (Spoiler) Elephant literally throws away Hedgehog after Hedgehog has so graciously been able to help Elephant. I do not understand why Rabbit was unable to tell the differences between the trunk of Elephant and Elephant’s back. The fact snake said they could help with their fangs is funny, as is the grin on Crocodiles face. Sloth trying ever so hard, but unable to “hurry up” is also slightly amusing. These realistic facts do bring in humor yet do little to save the story in the long run.
The illustrators are extremely simple. This is an interesting twist to the story. There is nothing but the page and the animals talking. There is little to no images of a jungle, a forest (there are some trees during Hedgehogs being tossed) or even a city landscape. There is just the bare basics to the story. Usually I enjoy Climo’s illustrations (You Don’t Want a Unicorn! is not only funny because of Ame Dyckman’s text). Yet, this time they have missed the mark for me.