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Honey Badgers [Hardcover]

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Item Number 254868  
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Item description for Honey Badgers by Jamison Odone...

Protected by his adoptive parents--a pair of honey badgers, who represent the most fearless species on the planet--a boy has nothing to fear as he eats, drinks, plays, and sleeps the way the badgers do.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 9.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Front Street
ISBN  1932425519  
ISBN13  9781932425512  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jamison Odone

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jamison Odone grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from The Art Institute of Boston in 2002. He now lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with his wife and son. He is also the author/illustrator for "Honey Badgers" and the illustrator for "The Bedtime Train" by Joy Cowley from Front Street Books. Enter into his world by visiting his blog,

Jamison Odone currently resides in Ridgefield. Jamison Odone was born in 1980.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > Picture Books
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Humorous
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > Parents > Fiction

Reviews - What do customers think about Honey Badgers?

Sweet strange honey  Dec 7, 2007
Imagine a book that was basically the lovechild of Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey, with the sweetness of a Mem Fox outing worked in there for spice. Hold that image in your mind and you might begin to get an inkling of the pretty little oddity that is "Honey Badgers". It is difficult for a picture book to tread the fine line between quirkiness and incomprehensible muck. "Honey Badgers" not only treads, but dances upon this line, producing an oddly sweet, if baffling, tale of unconventional families and how normalcy differs within each and every household.

"I get along with honey badgers," says our narrator. This stands to reason when you consider that a pair raised him. Maurice and June have been good to their adopted son. Certainly they are different from him. While they eat snakes, he eats flowers. But they're caring, affectionate adoptive parents, often making kites with their boy out of ferns, living quietly in their den. The boy admits that this kind of life may seem strange to some, but it has nothing on his friend who lives with a pair of creeping beetles. "That's absurd!" That said, he goes to bed, his loving honey badger parents looking on.

So, I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but prior to reading this book I didn't even know that there even were creatures out there called honey badgers. You might know them by their other name, ratels. Whatever the case, as strange as the book can be, Odone has certain facts right. Honey badgers like their honey, sure, but snakes are what they're known for eating. The Guinness Book of World Records calls them "the most fearless animals in the world", which doesn't really come into play in the story. And kids hoping that this book might give them some report material on honey badgers are going to be disappointed, not to mention downright befuddled.

I got a shocking amount of information off of the bookflap of this title, which is a good or a bad thing, depending on how you want to look at it. Apparently the hero of this tale is a boy. I suppose Front Street would know. They wrote the book, after all, but I am just as comfortable believing the protagonist to be a girl. I also learned that honey badgers are "considered, pound for pond, the most fearless animals in the world." That doesn't really come up in the story but it sounds nice on a page. The bookflap ends with, "Jamison Odone has written a sprightly nonsense tale and filled it with radiant, exotic imagery that demands and rewards close attention." And that is something that we call all agree on.

Sendak is the greatest influence on Odone, it seems. For one thing, the honey badgers' names are Maurice and June. If anyone can explain the "June" to me, please do. I would have done better with "Maurice and Ursula". The art is entirely Sendakian too. From the color scheme to the mild eccentricities, to the image of the narrator as a naked baby, the book comes across as nothing so much as a gentle homage. It has a mood, however, and delicate wordplay of an Edward Gorey creation. Sentences like, "They found me in a basket, on top of a rock, covered with a herringbone-patterned wool blanket," or the seeming non-sequitor, "Last week, an empty boat floated down the stream," bear his mark. So too does the umbrella the honey badgers carry. It sports an emblem of a skull with feathered wings, and appears in most of the scenes. But at the beginning of this review I mentioned "the sweetness of a Mem Fox outing," and I'll stand by that statement. Sendak and Gorey have their charms, but it was the gentle sweetness of the book that stayed with me long after I turned the last page in the story. You can be weird all you want, but unless you provide a little heart to your tale, you'll just remain another forgettable oddity.

Sometimes you need a picture book that's not going to be like anything else you've read before. I might have been reminded of similar artists when I read, "Honey Badgers", but I consider it wholly original in terms of text and type. Somehow the entire mood of the piece leaves you feeling happy. I can easily see this becoming a favorite bedtime story for some children, even if they can't put into words what it is about the tale that makes them so happy. You should always keep a couple picture books on hand to build up and influence your children's nighttime dreams. "Honey Badgers" is perfect for this purpose. Sweet, strange, sublime.
Deeply odd, but enjoyable.  Aug 1, 2007
Jamison Odone, Honey Badgers (Front Street, 2007)

Do you need to know anything other than that this book is narrated by a child who's been raised by badgers? You do? Okay, then I'll add that it makes no sense whatsoever. If you're not yet enticed, let me add in Odone's rather Maurice Sendak-esque illustrations. The book's biggest drawback is that there's simply not enough of it; it's twenty-six pages, mostly one sentence per two pages (with an illustration on the facing page). More about the basic absurdity of the kid's life would have been great; some interesting badger facts certainly wouldn't have been unwelcome. But for what it is, it's a charming little book that lives in a completely illogical world, and for some folks, that will be enough. ***
A boy brought up by mammals considered the most fearless creatures in the world  May 13, 2007
Jamison Odone's HONEY BADGERS tells of a boy brought up by mammals considered the most fearless creatures in the world - and so he himself is gentle and fearless as a result. Funny images about a boy's life as an honorary honey badger complete with honey badger father and family provide a gentle story kids will appreciate.
Publishers Review  Mar 17, 2007
Publishers Weekly review of Honey Badgers February 19th, 2007: Odone's debut book makes a deep bow to Maurice Sendak, with its somber palette and heavily crosshatched, pen-and-ink and watercolor wash illustrations. But the affectionate, dreamy text is his own. "I get along well with honey badgers," the boy narrator begins. "In fact, I was raised by a pair-Maurice and June. They are good parents," he adds. On the opposite page June, in a warm red overcoat, holds out her arms to a naked, Sendak-style foundling. (Honey badgers are carnivorous African mammals, making Maurice and June's solicitousness particularly heartwarming.) Telegraphic sentences on the left-hand pages ("We have a small stream nearby to sip from") accompany framed pictures on the right; here, the boy and Maurice, sporting warm sweaters to ward off the chill, drink on hands and knees, surrounded by a forest of gnarled trees. Visual references to myth (empty boats), fallen civilizations (Mayan stone sculptures), and wealth and education (velvet drapes and leather-bound books) give the story elegant resonance without weighing it down. "It is late now," the boy says. "I think I'll go to bed." Maurice and June stand guard as he sleeps under an enormous canopy. Odone, tapping into a powerful vein of fantasy (what child would not rush to move into a cozy den with two gentle, furry parents-) has created the kind of book certain children will cling to, years after they abandon the rest of their picture book collections. Ages 4-up.(Apr.) Copyright © 1997-2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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