[Book Review] My Trip to Atlantis (by Spongebob Squarepants) by Sarah Willson

Over and over again, these Spongebob Squarepants television-to-picture-book adaptations somehow manage to suck all the fun out of the plots while maintaining the key elements. Spongebob humor lies in the show's animation, the voice actor's delivery, and the often sarcastic tone of the show, and none of that is conveyed in these books. While Atlantis Squarepantis, the special this book was based on, was absolutely ridiculous in all aspects, the show acknowledged that--it was just another one of the jokes. But here, everything's played straight, as if all the wacky shit that goes on in the book is perfectly reasonable. There's no metaphorical wink to the reader, and the book really suffers for it. It's just not funny.

If for some reason you want to read your child a seriously pared down version of Spongebob Squarepants episodes--if that's the only way your kid will agree to read anything, for example--the Spongebob Squarepants picture books are right up your alley. If you're hoping to find Spongebob-style humor in these books, however... good luck. Your chances aren't high.

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