Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang Paperback – Sep 2 2003
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As Dr. Seuss knew, children's stories, however fantastical, still work by a kind of logic: if a monster has two heads, he'll naturally need two toothbrushes. Mordecai Richler's Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang succeeds by just such a rationale. Preceded by two older brothers and two older sisters, Jacob is certain no one ever listens to him and so develops the habit of saying everything twice.
Jacob's trademark repetitiveness lands him afoul of a "grown-up" on his very first errand to the greengrocer's. Jacob's insistence on "two pounds of firm, red tomatoes, two pounds of firm, red tomatoes," is considered mocking and he soon finds himself ushered into the fantastical children's court of Mr. Justice Rough. Sentenced to hard time in the foggy, wolverine- and snake-infested Slimer's Island, Jacob falls under the menacing eye of the dreaded warden, the Hooded Fang. Jacob and his fellow scabby-kneed inmates slave out their sentences on a work gang by manufacturing "Rain for picnics," "Weeds to ruin swimming holes," and "Major news stories concocted to break only when they could replace favourite television programs." Working secretly within the shroud of fog, Jacob plots his escape with the help of a heroic ring of older children known as Child Power.
Richler's Jacob, like his countryman Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, began as a tale for his own five children, and each wild setting, giggly joke, and action-heavy chapter feels battle-tested on children's ears. Richler the novelist pays attention to plot and child-friendly logic, avoiding the stew approach to children's literature in which condescending authors throw together what they consider to be the ingredients of a children's story without any sense of sequence, suspense, or outcome. Fritz Wegner's periodic illustrations extend Richler's playful work with monstrous prison guards, nefarious villains, and a swashbuckling rescue. --Darryl Whetter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Everyone should go out tomorrow and beat his local bookseller into submission if he hasn’t got a nice, plump display of books titled Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang.”
–New York Times Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Jacob is the youngest of five children, is two times two times two years old, and repeats everything he says twice because otherwise no one notices him. He struggles with his family over emerging independence; he can pour his own cereal, but isn't allowed to cross the street. He wants to help but can't do things right, and is an unwanted tag-along in his older sibling's games. After inadvertently offending the grocer with his repetitious speaking, Jacob is arrested and sentenced to two years, two months, two weeks, two days, two hours and two minutes at the children's prison. This Lemony Snickett style institution is run by the Hooded Fang, formerly the "most hated and vile villian in all of wrestling". Happily, it is not long before Jacob overthrows the Big People running the fearsome prison, with the assistance of the juvenile heroes of Child Power, the Intrepid Shapiro and the Fearless O'Toole (a.k.a. Jacob's siblings, Emma and Noah). It is a charming story of empowerment for little folk.
Unsurprisingly, with Richler, the writing is witty, clever, and the characters well-drawn. I particularly appreciated Louis Loser and Justice Rough.
They balance out at three stars. Much more detail went into the workings of the `Hooded Fang' world and the children's quest to reach help outside a fog-hidden prison. However I tired of the protagonist's `two-two' habit and was glad to find him outgrown of it in this dinosaur novel. Both involve very dire circumstances for a young child so neither was light hearted but both encompass wit. However unless one cares for political jibes, I found many more nuggets of hilarity in the first.
What I appreciated about this novel is that Jacob's Dad has moved the family from England to his native Canada. There is a multi-province panorama as Jacob flees from the government with his dinosaur and the happy thought that other dinosaurs may exist, in an undisturbed region of larger trees.
This embodies a definite stretch of imagination, pertaining to Mordecai's originality and the tale itself being a dream. I applaud the great degree of detail and tremendous whimsy that resulted.
Most recent customer reviews
Loved Thanks characters, great imagination. This book is great for kids 5 to 7. Fun to read out loud, lots of laughs and screams.Published 6 months ago
Just read it to my 5 year old over the course of several nights and we both thoroughly enjoyed it!Published 12 months ago by UpsetMom
My son was assigned this book as a home reading book. He is in grade 2 and expected to read it alone. This is virtually impossible. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dee
I read 2 chapters of Jacob Two-Two every night while we were on holiday to my 5 and 8 yr. old nephews and they absolutely loved it ! Read morePublished 24 months ago by Marian J. Stewart
I've never read Mordecai Richler's book Jacob Two-Two, but I have seen the movie. Not the one made in the late '90s but the one from the '80s. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by Tom Gillespie
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang is an interesting book,about a boy and the adventures of the fearless O'Toole and intrepidShapiro. Read morePublished on April 3 2000
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