cover image Pop!


Jason Carter Eaton, illus. by Matt Rockefeller. First Second, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-503-4

Bespectacled, bubble-blowing Dewey tries to catch and pop all the bubbles he’s blown, and when one gets away from him, his quest progresses from balloon to helicopter to F-16. Eaton doesn’t waste space establishing the situation. “But in almost no time at all it was out of reach again. He’d need to jump higher.” Jumping doesn’t cut it, though, and Dewey comes up with new schemes as fast as the bubble rises—getting his telescope on it, resorting to a nearby elevator, then convincing a (female) pilot to allow him to commandeer her helicopter: “And after some explaining and thanking, it was all his.” Polished artwork by Rockefeller (an illustrator of 5 Worlds 2: The Cobalt Prince) follows the high-altitude pursuit with sunlit clouds, aerial views of the landscape, and sweeping views of the gleaming aircraft themselves. Though Eaton’s (The Catawampus Cat) narration perks right along, with bonus factoids along the way (“He knew F-16s could only go up to 50,000 feet…”), Rockefeller’s images carry the story’s action forward with such force and clarity that nonreaders who admire skyborne transportation can narrate the story themselves—and may want to do it more than once. Ages 4–8.[em] (July) [/em]