cover image Slingshot and Burp

Slingshot and Burp

Richard Haynes, illus. by Stephen Gilpin. Candlewick, $14.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7076-4

Over 10 lively chapters, first-time author Haynes unspools the story of cousins Slingshot and Burp, two cowboys-in-training armed with bicycle steeds, spitballs, red crayon brands, and an abundance of Wild West lingo. “Boll weevil!” cries Slingshot during one of their escapades. “My mouth is as dry as a dust devil.” Antagonistic older sisters, a blood-spitting lizard, and a legendary “Ghost Cat” all factor in to the boys’ adventures, which both Haynes and Gilpin paint as larger-than-life, even if real life occasionally intrudes (“Two lousy days in lockup,” is Slingshot’s response to getting grounded). It’s a boisterous tale that speaks to long summer days of (mostly) unfettered freedom. Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Aug.)