I will say, I was not a big fan of Beatrice Alemagna’s, On a Magical Do-Nothing Day. Yet, it was a huge hit with most of my coworkers in both our stores. Therefore, I am assuming Harold Snipperpot’s Best Disaster Ever will be for anyone a fan of this author and illustrator.
While the story could be a hit or miss for the reader (and a miss for me) this book has an interesting point. While the theme was strong, the execution of the wild rumpus that is the way it comes about is why I was not a fan. It has a modern feel to it that you grasp or not. The story is about how Harold’s family never smiles, never has fun and never does “normal” things at bedtime, like bedtimes kisses. It is not until Harold’s birthday wish of having party comes true do things start to turn around. The best party planner in town brings a zoo full of animals to the event. And even though there is a gorilla who likes to rearrange the furniture and of piles of, well you know, the animals might just be the key to helping his family feel, well more human and learn to have fun.
It is the illustrations that caught my eye. The classical feel of the illustrations makes this book seem almost like a Gris Grimly or even Edward Gorey piece of work. Yet, Alemagna’s illustrations have nothing in common with either of the other artists. I think this connection I had was because of the colors and the darkness to the story bring up those feelings one tend to get when viewing Gorey and Grimly, and not actually any similarities to the art.
And while this is not going on a favorite or reread list, I really hope the right forever home finds it and adds to their collection.