cover image Dude!


Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Dan Santat. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-603-1

The versatile word dude can act as a question, a warning, or an exclamation of delight, and Reynolds (Creepy Pair of Underwear!) uses it all of these ways and more as the single spoken word of his story. A platypus and a beaver almost jump out of their board shorts when a shark surfaces in the waves behind them. “Duuuuude!” they shriek. But the shark wants to be friends, and it speaks their language: “Dude...?” it ventures. The beaver paddles ashore and returns with an ice-cream cone with sprinkles; the platypus offers the shark a spare surfboard, which is even better. “Dude!” they chorus, catching the same wave. Santat (After the Fall) pours on the special effects, and the shark’s massive body, double rows of teeth, and bathing suit (his tail fits through one leg, the other hangs empty) add danger-tinged comedy to every spread. It’s a story about welcoming the stranger, but the many dopey laughs and Santat’s panoply of goofy facial expressions deliver the message with sprinkles on top. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Apr.) [/em]