cover image Skulls!


Blair Thornburgh, illus. by Scott Campbell. Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1400-6

Skulls can be scary looking, but, this book proposes, they are precious things. “You probably don’t think much about skulls,” opens Thornburgh (Who’s That Girl), addressing the reader in a confiding tone. But everyone has one, and “skulls are safe and snug, like a car seat for your brain.” With a deft blend of yuckiness and hilarity, Campbell (Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy) draws a little skull on four wheels with a brain enclosed safely inside. Thornburgh expounds on her subject’s virtues: “Skulls have holes in them... for sounds, for light, for air, for grilled cheese sandwiches.” Some are afraid of skulls, she admits, but the reader is surely not one of those: “You love having a safe place to keep your brain.” Including readers in this group of rational humans makes Thornburgh’s ending message especially effective. “Take care of your skull,” the text advises, as Campbell shows a girl and her grinning skull in a bicycle helmet, “because you only get one.” Sometimes, this highly entertaining disquisition reminds readers, things that seem frightening at first can become quite wonderful once you get to know them. Ages 4–8. [em](July) [/em]