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YO-YO MAN by Daniel Pinkwater


by Daniel Pinkwater & illustrated by Jack E. Davis

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-055502-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

A child gets past his fear of both a bully and a teacher in this triumphant playground memoir, to which Davis contributes a set of typically over-the-top illustrations featuring crowds of broad-faced, pop-eyed, stubby-limbed figures with exaggerated hair and expressions. What with the evil attentions of hulking, Red Hots–candy-sucking Richard Newton and the heavy academics laid on by Mrs. Mousetrap, third grade is shaping up to be ugly. Until recess that is, when yo-yo salesman Ramon shows up to demonstrate a set of spectacular tricks and to promise a “gold yo-yo just like his, with realistic diamonds on each side” to any child who can duplicate them. Immediately seeing that Richard Newton is “a yo-yo no-go, a yo-yo goo-goo,” the young narrator determines to buckle down, with yo-yo and spelling book both. In the end, his determination pays off with a first-place ribbon in class, a “diamond-studded” yo-yo of his very own and a general cheer from his toothily grinning schoolmates. “I am a true yo-yo man,” he concludes, “And I can spell.” Even without the fantasy elements that underpin Pinkwater and Davis’s previous collaboration, Picture of Morty & Ray (2003), this will be a crowd pleaser. (Picture book. 6-8)