Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief (Book Review)

Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief is the newest release for the franchise that currently holds the record for longest running American sitcom ever. The book is the second release in the Vault of Simpsonology series that takes a creative look at members of the Springfield community with creative drawings and text from the mind of show creator Matt Groening.

Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief had a lot to live up to following the release of Homer Simpson's Little Book of Laziness, but the new book may prove to be the best release in the entire anthology once all is said and done. Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief is a good read for children, though it should be explained that there is a proper time and place to pull off the stunts and jokes in the book in real life, and adults will find the book just as entertaining. There is literally content pouring out of the book and into real life with stickers, temporary tattoos, cards and more that can be removed and used as the owner sees fit, and Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief is easily one of the most fun books we've ever gotten out hands on.

Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief immediately draws in fans of the show of all ages with colorful drawings and animations littering the front and back covers of the book and sleeve. The inside front cover introduces readers to more of what is to come with a pouch sleeve full of stickers, maps, drawings and more to take out and use after reading the book. The first page features Bart dressed in many different outfits inspired by other television shows, music and popular culture that kids will want to learn more about and adults will compare with The Simpsons comic books of long ago. The randomized content continues for the next 64 pages, and though there is no collective storyline associated with the book, there are plenty of appearances from the show's characters, pranks and jokes to try on friends and enemies and some pretty hilarious writing in general. Though fans will likely only use the knowledge of the book for fun and amusement with friends, the book constantly encourages readers to remember the lines, "I didn't do it! Nobody saw me do it! You can't prove anything!" just in case they are caught.

The funny drawings and text would be more than enough to make Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief a recommended read for fans of The Simpsons of all ages, but what puts the book over the top is its creative uses for nearly every page throughout the book. One page may contain a removable comic strip for readers to enjoy outside of the confines of the book, while the next page may have a fold out storyline that extends the pages and delivers some funny punchlines. The book also uses other creative techniques to draw in readers such as colorful comic panels used to separate different pieces of advice or folded flaps of paper that can be lifted to reveal different drawings beneath. Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief never fails to have a unique surprise with the turn of each page, and it keeps readers interested with its randomness and variety of fun content.

Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief likely won't end up among the New York Times Best Sellers List or be featured on Oprah's Book Club, but it's a great book for casual readers that would typically be more likely to pick up a comic book to read rather than the next great novel. The book is just as funny and creative as the series it's based on. Young readers will enjoy the colorful pictures and easiness to pick up and read, while older fans will enjoy the jokes that reminds them of reading comics from the inside of a Butterfinger wrapper, and both will enjoy reading content from their favorite animated series. Fans shouldn't hesitate to pick up a copy of Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief, and be sure to check out Homer Simpson's Little Book of Laziness as part of the Vault of Simpsonology collection as well.

Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief is now available from Insight Editions and can be purchased for $24.99. For more information on Bart Simpson's Manual of Mischief, check out the official Vault of Simpsonology website.

Book Information:
  • Creator: Matt Groening
  • Writing: Bill Morrison
  • Editorial: Terry Delegeane & Nathan Kane
  • Layout & Design: Serban Cristescu
  • Hardcover
  • 64 Pages
  • Release: March 18, 2014

Score: 10 out of 10
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