Tip Tipper is a second grader with lots of smarts and sillies to share. When he tries to join his friends at the park, instead of making them laugh, he scares them; when a classmate falls, he laughs. Tip just can’t seem to figure out the right time to be silly. In an effort to impress his peers at the school spelling bee, Tip embarrasses himself. With the help of King Nobble Ook, the ruler of the village, Tip must learn the appropriate time to have fun and the right way to make friends.
In Seriously Silly, Tip Tipper struggles with appropriate social behavior. He has difficulty recognizing when it is okay to make jokes and when it is time to be serious. Bonnie Lieberman portrays a fictional setting with kids, or Nobblets, of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Using alliterative names and funny words, Seriously Silly comes to life. Mo Rizk illustrates with a unique style. His bold and bright characters accentuate the silliness of the story by using dramatic facial expressions and cartoon-like proportions. With several important lessons woven throughout the story, Lieberman encourages children to be themselves and have fun while still making appropriate social choices. This book would make a great read aloud in the primary grades, reminding students that it’s fun to have fun, but there is a time and place to do so and that it is never kind to laugh at the expense of others. Initially, Tip is presented as a character without a sense of humor, and even a bit rude, but ultimately comes to find that he can make people laugh and making friends isn’t so tough after all.