Tommy Can’t Stop!

Tim Federle, illus. by Mark Fearing. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6917-8
Tommy is always in motion. He bounces around the house imagining that he’s a pogo stick, bulldozer, elephant, and antelope—with the expected consequences for his family’s belongs and their patience. Nothing seems able to focus his considerable energies until Tommy’s mother drags him to a tap dance class, where a teacher (who’s almost as ebullient as Tommy) helps him discover that all of his favorite moves are tap fundamentals (the “brush” move reminds Tommy of a bulldozer, and so on). Federle’s (Better Nate Than Ever) narration can veer into cutesiness, and his penchant for parenthetical asides and alliteration—Tommy “clamors when he kicks” and “moans in the minivan”—wears thin. But Fearing’s (The Great Thanksgiving Escape) cartooning has the breezy feel of an animated short. The hero’s mop hair and wide eyes make him the very picture of irrepressibility, and the arcing, dashed lines that Fearing uses to showcase Tommy’s gravity-defying moves become a fun running joke. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/09/2015
Release date: 04/14/2015
Genre: Children's
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