Huck Runs Amuck!
Sean Taylor, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds, Dial, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8037-326
With buckteeth and goggle eyes, Huck the goat is a flower-devouring hero with his share of ups and downs: up a precarious mountain and (falling) down to the village below, up a church spire to eat a flowered hat and (after a change of heart) down to return it to the grateful owner. In a departure from his more gently inspirational books, Reynolds proves that his loose ink-and-watercolor illustrations can adeptly convey action—and broad comedy—as he and Taylor play up the twisty misadventures that befall Huck. Each event is accompanied by interactive prompts ("UH-OH... he's not going to eat Mrs. Tuppleton's flowery underpants, is he? He is! He can't resist!"). Both author and artist play up the humor throughout; instead of grabbing flowers after a near-miss with a train, Huck ends up with "something else" in his teeth—a roll of pink toilet paper. Taylor's mainly unrhymed text switches to verse whenever Huck makes a grab for his beloved flowers: "He's up on the bridge without hesitation/. He's a clickety-clackety, climbing sensation!" The repeated exclamations are sure to have young readers joining in. Ages 5–8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011