Gakky Two-Feet

Micky Dolenz, Author, David Clark, Illustrator , illus. by David Clark. Putnam $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-24468-1

To the list of unanswered questions about human evolution—Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Who discovered fire?—former Monkees drummer Dolenz adds: Which quadruped first stood on his own two feet? Many readers may skip the long author's note introducing this foray into "anthromythology," but those who don't will be relieved that Clark's (Grumblebunny ) cartoonish illustrations immediately ground the story on George-of-the-Jungle rather than Charles Darwin territory. The hero, a "fuzzy little fellow" named Gak, lives in Africa five million years ago. For reasons he can't explain, he alone among his spaghetti-limbed clan has chosen a bipedal lifestyle, though it earns him the sobriquet, "Gakky Two-Feet." Kids will love his mother's calm acceptance of his "difference," and that she picks fat, juicy bugs out of his sienna-hued fur—and eats them. Predictably, Gakky's idiosyncrasy proves valuable, and the story then becomes a familiar one in which Gak saves the day. Clark's full-bleed illustrations show our gap-toothed, pot-bellied primate ancestors in lively comic exaggeration. Even the menacing lion has a Gumby-like elasticity that declaws his potential to frighten little ones. Expect some knuckle-scraping hi-jinks from the audience, and perhaps a big "Ewww!" when the distressed damsel, Gleeb, rewards Gakky for saving her life with a big, wet kiss. Ages 4-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-4156-8089-6
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