With true fearlessness and finely honed skills, this talented duo has created a most entertaining hero.

KEL GILLIGAN'S DAREDEVIL STUNT SHOW

Preschoolers everywhere can relate to the steely bravery, sheer willpower and steady determination it often takes to surmount the herculean obstacles a day can bring.

Kel Gilligan is no ordinary boy. He is a daredevil. He is “the boy without fear.” He can do amazing things all by himself: eat broccoli, face “the Potty of Doom,” get dressed, keep busy while Mom “finishes her conversation… / UNINTERRUPTED!!,” take “a bath with one assistant,” and “go to bed without checking the room for monsters.” The pages are peppered with word bubbles bearing over-the-top declarations from Kel and equally humorous reactions from Kel’s family members. Grandma always claps, while the others exclaim in awed disbelief when the stunt is accomplished. Santat depicts these impressive feats with illustrations that have a retro comic-book look. Kel is portrayed most often with a manly face with an expressive brow. He talks tough and looks even tougher…except when his nerves are tested. Can he really get that shirt on? Will Mom ever get off the phone? Who knew going potty would take so long? Whether he is in underpants, in his caped stuntman outfit or bare-bottomed, young readers (and their grown-ups) cannot help but laugh out loud at the hilarious details of Kel’s silly adventures because they tackle them daily and know them too well.

With true fearlessness and finely honed skills, this talented duo has created a most entertaining hero. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0379-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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PIRATES DON'T TAKE BATHS

Echoes of Runaway Bunny color this exchange between a bath-averse piglet and his patient mother. Using a strategy that would probably be a nonstarter in real life, the mother deflects her stubborn offspring’s string of bath-free occupational conceits with appeals to reason: “Pirates NEVER EVER take baths!” “Pirates don’t get seasick either. But you do.” “Yeesh. I’m an astronaut, okay?” “Well, it is hard to bathe in zero gravity. It’s hard to poop and pee in zero gravity too!” And so on, until Mom’s enticing promise of treasure in the deep sea persuades her little Treasure Hunter to take a dive. Chunky figures surrounded by lots of bright white space in Segal’s minimally detailed watercolors keep the visuals as simple as the plotline. The language isn’t quite as basic, though, and as it rendered entirely in dialogue—Mother Pig’s lines are italicized—adult readers will have to work hard at their vocal characterizations for it to make any sense. Moreover, younger audiences (any audiences, come to that) may wonder what the piggy’s watery closing “EUREKA!!!” is all about too. Not particularly persuasive, but this might coax a few young porkers to get their trotters into the tub. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25425-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents.

HOW DO DINOSAURS STAY SAFE?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

Officer Buckle had Gloria, his police canine, to help his audience see the value of his safety lessons; Yolen and Teague have their dinos.

Addressing such perennial topics as jumping on the bed, climbing too high and stair safety, Yolen and Teague first present the dinos doing the wrong things, their faces plainly showing that they are surprised and scared by the world of hurt about to come their ways while caring (and dwarfed) loved ones freak out in the backgrounds. “Does he climb up too high? // Or jump on his bed? // Does he race on his bike with no helmet on head?” (Scansion is a bit of an issue.) Of course not! And though the text says that it will tell readers why, it doesn’t, instead just explaining what the dinos do to stay safe. Among other things, Cearadactylus holds Mama’s hand and crosses with the light, Majungasaurus swims where his papa can see him, Agustinia wears his bike helmet, and Concavenator brings water to drink on long hikes. As in previous outings, Teague’s artwork steals the show, the realism of the scenes and human figures juxtaposed with the giant, though childish, dinos. Labels in the illustrations and endpapers will help dino mavens identify their favorites.

Don’ts and Do’s in a familiar formula go down easily for fans and will provide a good conversation starter for parents. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-439-24104-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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