Release date: 07/01/2004
In this bouncy tall tale, "the Great Elastic Marvel, five times World Trampolining Champion (sometimes known as the Man with Rubber Legs, the Jumping Master)" accidentally dives out a window while leaping for his trampoline. "Oh my giddy gosh!" he cries. Miraculously, he ricochets off a tree branch just above the lion house at the zoo ("Hooplah!") and catapults high in the sky ("Boing! "). He drops toward a wide blue river ("Holy moly!"), only to light on a barge loaded with mattresses. "With a crisp salute to the captain," he's off again ("Hup!"). Narrowly escaping disaster, the skinny acrobat "boings" across the city with help from a telephone wire, an awning and a kettledrum. When he crashes to a halt back at home, his inattentive young son assumes he fell off the trampoline: "That jump needs some practice, Dad." Taylor (Small Bad Wolf ) knows when to use broad strokes and when to supply details: "All it took was a back twist, a tuck, a side straddle... and the Great Elastic Marvel flew in through the window of his very own apartment."
Ingman (Bad News! I'm in Charge! ) paints the dynamic action with a reckless élan that matches the Great Elastic Marvel's attitude. His bird's-eye perspective lets him place the full-color Marvel in the foreground and give a quick-sketched background glimpse of upturned, surprised faces. Both he and Taylor get the hero from one slapstick scrape to the next, with plenty of fun—and the greatest of ease. Ages 5-8. (July)