My rating: ★★☆☆☆
And the Winner Is… by Jenny Miglis is a picture book adaptation of the Spongebob Squarepants episode, Big Pink Loser, which you may remember is the episode that introduced one of the especially memetic lines of the franchise (“NO, THIS IS PATRICK!”).
…and this oft-referenced and hilarious line does not appear in the book. As a matter of fact, that entire scene is cut.
As far as I’m concerned, this deletion sums up the book’s quality. Spongebob Squarepants became popular because of its absurd humor. And while it’s lost much of its original humor over the years, shifting instead to gross-out humor that more easily holds the attention of its target audience, And the Winner Is… drops the humor entirely in favor of teaching children a moral.
I will admit I don’t understand that. Kids like Spongebob because it’s funny. Therefore, a child would agree to read a Spongebob book on the grounds that it, too, should amuse them. Yet this book rehashes an episode’s plot, removing all the humor and leaving the moral behind. But if the humor is what held the child’s attention so well, and the moral is present alongside the humor in the episode, why are the jokes gone? Why retell a story with its best bits removed?
In other words, I was disappointed by this. However, I’ve opted for two stars instead of one on the assumption that it can help parents teach their children to read by taking advantage of Spongebob’s popularity.