Hey, Presto!

Nadia Shireen. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86905-1
Shireen forgoes the edgy humor of her Good Little Wolf to tell a playful rags-to-riches story of a spotlight-hogging dog who forsakes friendship for fame. Monty, a fuzzy brown dog, and his best friend Presto, an equally scruffy blue cat, live on the streets and “[don’t] have much,” but they are happy and have their own talents. Monty’s include “singing, eating ice cream and making extremely silly faces,” while Presto is a “brilliant magician.” When the duo sees a poster soliciting carnival acts, they hightail it to the big tent in hopes of becoming famous. Presto lets Monty take the stage first, helping behind the scenes instead, but Monty quickly turns into a diva. “It was Monty’s turn night... after night... after night.” Fed up, Presto abandons his friend, but returns just in time to save Monty’s televised magic show—and their relationship. Shireen’s characters have oversize heads and bright, googly eyes, making them look ready for adventure. Comedic details including a fire-eating lizard and Monty’s magical disasters bring some spark to a sweet-natured tale about the give-and-take of friendship. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 11/13/2012
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-375-96905-8
Hardcover - 43 pages - 978-0-307-97571-3
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