LaReau, K., & LaReau, J. (2006). Rocko and Spanky Have Company. New York: Harcourt, Inc.
With a title like Rocko and Spanky Have Company I could see all sorts of potential for trouble. I mean, Spanky? Really? Despite my pre-judgements I was pleasantly surprised. As I was reading it, I was reminded that childhood daycare had a weird little sock monkey doll that I never quite understood why it was there. Since the twins are sock monkeys, I probably would have been very entertained had this book existed when I was little.
Rocko and Spanky are twin sock monkeys who are getting ready to have company over. They spend (too many pages) cleaning up parts of their house, shopping and preparing a meal for their guests. The activities Rocko and Spanky go through are very mundane. While reading it, the story was really starting to feel plotless. But then I reminded myself that it was a relatively realistic (since we are talking about sock monkey dolls) representation of the process of preparing for a guest.
The illustrations are fun and colorful (although they could have been more humorous, especially on the pages in which their cleaning--that way readers would have more of a reason to pause on those pages and the book wouldn't have felt quite as teachy).
This is yet another book that can be shared with first time party hosts to let the young-uns know about everything that goes into preparing for company--including cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc.
The end of the story also includes a recipe for peanut-butter and banana sandwiches, so students could learn how to prepare their own snacks before or after the teacher shares this book.
Quotes of Note:
"Rocko and Spanky are twins."
"All that cleaning made me tired," says Rocko.
"Urp! Me, too," says Spanky."
"Now what should we serve our guest?" says Spanky.
"I know-peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches!"
"Wanna play with my new Super Ball?" asks Rocko."