cover image Crash, Splash, or Moo!

Crash, Splash, or Moo!

Bob Shea. Little, Brown, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-48301-8

In his characteristic cartoon-style illustrations, Shea (the Ballet Cat series) creates an energetic game show in which readers become players. Choosing from one of the three words in the title, they must guess what will happen when a foolhardy “Action Clam” and a phlegmatic cow perform daredevil stunts. One frenzied Mr. McMonkey hosts (Shea wisely asks audience members to “raise their hands” rather than shout out their guesses), awarding bananas for each right answer. A big part of the joke is that the game involves almost no suspense: Action Clam takes on anything that ends in “crash” or “splash,” while the cow, set up to perform amazing feats, stays put and says “moo.” But with the help of a jet pack, the two performers join forces for a final stunt that achieves a sort of literary hat trick. As characters, typography, and jokes bounce around the pages—bright, silly, and loud—this one proves itself banana-worthy. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)  [/em]