Reader feedback!

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We just got our Very Silly Mayor in the mail today, in time for my son's 5th birthday tomorrow. It was a perfect thing to read after the first day of Kindergarten. He loved it and so did I. Great work! More please!

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It would be a Very Silly Reader who expected Tom Tomorrow to write a children's book that didn't have a point to make. But it might surprise some readers to discover that point isn't some heavy political lesson, but is actually the type of common-sense moral that has been the basis for children's stories all the way back to Aesop. The story and its messsage are, basically, an update on the timeless classic "The Emperor's New Clothes". In TVSM, Sparky the penguin, Tom Tomorrow's longtime voice of reason in his "This Modern World" comics, discovers that the Mayor of his medium-sized town has begun acting on some ideas that are - surprise! - Very Silly, indeed. (As a resident of a medium-sized city that has had its share of Very Silly Mayors, I sympathize.) Everyone else in town seems very happy with these ideas, but Sparky discovers that they may not be as happy as they say they are. The book is filled with highly entertaining and colorful artwork. Fans of TMW will recognize Tomorrow's style, as well as some of his stock faces (Blinky the dog is also on hand). And if Sparky is his usual self in that he is unafraid to say what he thinks, he does so in a polite and respectful tone that is appropriate in a tale for all ages.

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As a book that adults and children can all enjoy, "The Very Silly Mayor" will be quite comfortable next to my copies of such classics as "Go Dog Go" and "The Cat in the Hat". Just wanted to say that I and my little girl (just about 4) LOVE the book. She made me read it to her three times in a row last night and this morning.

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At first I thought this was just another retelling of the Emperor's New Clothes story. Then I realized there was a political message about the role of the media and their failure to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. Then I read it to my 5-year-old and found that there was a message about speaking up against peer pressure, and also that peer pressure might not be pushing the way you think: it's more about what you perceive than what others impose. When a short children's book can do all of the above, plus some fun illustrations, and a few really funny moments ... that's a definite success for me. I hope I can be reading this one at bedtimes for a while!

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Tom Tomorrow's first book for children!

NEW (as of 11/16/10): A special holiday offer! For a limited time only, you can order signed copies of The Very Silly Mayor directly from the publisher! Click here and use Paypal button to order. (Note: Cutoff date Dec. 12; due to logistics these cannot be personalized.)

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The Very Silly Mayor

"This is a funny book with an important message -- we need more penguins in government!" -- Dave Barry

"I have always admired Tom Tomorrow for his keen intelligence and penguin-based wit, but now he has unnerved me with a story of socio-political chaos that is at once completely ridiculous and sadly familiar." -- Lemony Snicket

"My kid loves it -- I love the message." -- Sam Seder

Sample pages (click to see full page)

















NEW (as of 11/16/10): A special holiday offer! For a limited time only, you can order signed copies of The Very Silly Mayor directly from the publisher! Click here to order. (Note: Cutoff date Dec. 12; due to logistics these cannot be personalized.)
To order from Amazon click here!

New reviews!

Children's book blog Pink Me:

The worry, of course, with a kid book written by uber-snarkmeister cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, is that Mr. Tomorrow is writing for the parents - that the very silly mayor is in fact a member of the Bush family and Sparky the Penguin is doing his usual emperor-has-no-clothes schtick, and kids will find it amusing but parents will nod smugly. "That George Bush," they'll smirk internally. "What a dorkus." But that is not what Tom Tomorrow has done here. Sure, you could read the very silly mayor, with his pronouncements that firefighters should use peanut butter to put out fires instead of water, and that everyone should paint their houses purple and green, as George Bush. But you could read the very silly mayor as just about any authority figure that people follow without question. Your third-grade teacher, for example. The book is, in the end, about dissent. It's about speaking up when you don't understand something, or when you have an opinion, or when you think that cops can't possibly catch robbers when they're wearing clown shoes. Plus - silly!

Emily Bazelon at DoubleX:

....Sparky is an amenable, roll-up-your-sleeves rebel -- he agrees to work for the mayor, in exchange for dialing back the harebrained schemes. When I asked my sons what they thought the story was about, they said, on cue, "how political people can be really, really wrong." Indeed. With kid-friendly, eye-catching pictures.

And a video review from a very young reader (from this site). Don't let anyone try to tell you that young children won't be captivated by this book!

The Very Silly Mayor from Tom Hoffman on Vimeo.





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