cover image The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York

The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York

Kevin Hawkes, Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86188-8

In this sequel to The Wicked Big Toddlah, about a humongous boy from rural Maine, Hawkes imagines a family vacation to Manhattan. Wide-eyed, cheerful Toddie, who stands several stories tall, travels to the city atop a train. As in the original, Hawkes's humor depends on Toddie's size and his parents' bumpkin observations and accents: Toddie marvels at the "staaahs!" on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal, and his Pa proclaims Times Square "busier than Rupert's Bait Shop on Memorial Day weekend!" With so much to do, Toddie and his parents lose track of one another ("I thought you had him," a worried Ma says to Pa). In a perhaps inevitable King Kong allusion, Toddie climbs the Empire State Building, wearing his hunting cap and clutching an F.A.O. Schwarz teddy. "Ma! Pa! Where ahyah?" he hollers, and the family soon reunites. Hawkes pairs caricaturish sketches of Toddie with gorgeous blue summer skies and skillful renderings of iconic landmarks. This reprise might have taken greater advantage of Manhattan and Maine insider jokes, yet some New Englanders will feel a quaint kinship with the Paul Bunyanesque boy. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)