cover image Unstoppable


Adam Rex, illus. by Laura Park. Chronicle, $16.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6504-2

A put-upon crab and a crow—drawn by Park (Abner & Ian Get Right-Side Up) with an adorably goofy graphic aesthetic—realize that by combining the crow’s wings and the crab’s pincers, they can become the airborne scourge of their common enemy, a cat. “Crabbird!” shouts the crow, “Birdrab!” echoes the crab, “UNSTOPPABLE!” they cheer together after delivering a nose-pinch that sends the cat scurrying. But why stop there? In rapid succession, they join forces with a turtle, a bear named Steve, and (a little less willingly) the U.S. president and all of Congress, creating a highly improbable amalgam—“Congresibirdraburtlebear”—that proves “UNSTOPPABLE!” when it comes to righting wrongs—or, as Rex (The Next President) puts it, “passing laws and pinching the noses that need to be pinched.” It’s not only funny (Rex has a way with offhand remarks: “Well, I’ve always been a little envious of ducks,” the crab tells the bird) and beautiful to look at, with a clean, bold design and exuberant typography—it also hints at collaboration’s role in effecting change. If “UNSTOPPABLE” suddenly starts ringing through playgrounds across the nation, this fetching fractured fable is probably the reason why. Ages 5–8. [em]Agent for author and illustrator: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May) [/em]