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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Another engaging outing.

THERE'S A WITCH IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

When a witch crash-lands into this book, she’ll need help from readers in tidying up her messes.

The newest in Fletcher and Abbott’s Who’s in Your Book? series stars a mischievous, messy witch. With text instructing readers directly, children will use their “finger wands” to turn the witch into a cat and pop bubble bunnies. There’s even a spell that makes a hole in some pages, an orifice through which readers push excess slime. All of the fun ends with a cleaned-up book and a sleepover with little monsters. The built-in reader participation is a serious trademark, and most of the actions can be accomplished either one-on-one with an adult or in a group setting. Abbott’s illustrations hit on the cute side of spooky, the smiling, redheaded witch with classic green skin and a pointed black hat, a cauldron, and a broomstick. All of the backgrounds are simple bright colors, purples, pinks, blue, and orange, zeroing the focus in on the messy action. Careful observers will notice a torn blue hole drawn on the copyright page, illustrating the witch’s crash into the book. It’s tried-and-true rather than surprising at this point, but the simple and straightforward formula will certainly appeal to readers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Another engaging outing. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12515-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Don’t play with your food. Find food at play!

THE RUNAWAY PEA

Can a legume on the lam ever find its hap-pea-ly ever after?

Dinner may be on the table and ready to go, but for one little pea, the adventure has just begun. Despite the protestations and mockery of the food left behind, the runaway pea “ping[s] off the plate” and into a series of unfortunate events. Without intending to, the pea plops into a dollop of sauce, tumbles into a dog bowl, is flung into an aquarium, avoids a mousetrap and a spider web—and that’s just for starters! As the pea’s adventures grow increasingly arduous, he finally rolls under the fridge, where the desiccated fruit he meets there tell him that now that he has touched the floor “you’re not loved anymore.” But what’s this? Could there still be a satisfying ending in store for this little green miscreant? This chipper British import keeps the action high as the pea pinballs from catastrophe to calamity. Clever perspectives amp the slapstick, and the anthropomorphic pea—he has two wide eyes and a mouth but no limbs—is surprisingly expressive. Expert rhymes scan without strain, keeping the merriment high (with the help of the occasional butt joke). Even if peas aren’t any particular child reader’s favorite food, the twist at the end may encourage budding gardeners to experiment with some plantings of their own. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Don’t play with your food. Find food at play! (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9014-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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