Books by Dave Keane

Released: July 19, 2016

A nameless, pigtailed, sassy child in a pink gossamer skirt wants only one birthday present: a puppy; in the box, however, is not a puppy but a tortoise. "WHO WANTS A TORTOISE?!" The protagonist sure doesn't, but Daddy is allergic to dogs. What follows is a list of don'ts: tortoises don't fetch, don't roll over, don't lick your face, don't beg for baloney, and don't get excited when you come through the door. An abrupt change in attitude occurs once the young tortoise-owner gives her shelled pet a makeover: "I do his nails with Sparkling Raspberry Delight." When Grammy and Grandpa bring her a tortoise book as a present, she grows even more receptive: an illustration shows the tortoise atop a pink skateboard, nails still pink, and a leash duct-taped to his shell. She brings her tortoise to sharing day at school; her tortoise races and beats snails by a mile. But then he runs away. Signs go up in the neighborhood, and everyone joins the quest to find the coldblooded friend. Campbell's familiar style is present in soft watercolor and colored pencil. Young readers will notice details such as emotive expressions on humans and pets alike, as well as plenty of dog paraphernalia. The protagonist appears to be biracial, with a white mom and East Asian dad. The endpapers are a collection of sketches and fun facts. A sweet read-aloud for first-time tortoise owners. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2012

"Not just for the first day of school; this is sure to appeal year-round. (Early reader. 5-8)"
With its wide variety of monsters, mild creep and gross factors, and potential to allay some fears about fitting in, this is sure to find a wide audience among beginning readers. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2011

A young boy narrates a special time spent with his dad. Daddy Adventure Days have some rules: there's no reading the newspaper or calling work. There are perks, too: Surprises often happen, and the narrator "always get[s] a lot of great stuff." Today's Daddy Adventure Day is dedicated to going to the boy's first big-league baseball game. But things don't start out too well for dad: He is woken way too early by the thumping of a baseball rolling down the stairs, and he's grouchy about missing his paper and not being able to call the office. The contrast between the hyper-excited boy and the laid-back dad provides gentle humor. Ramá's saturated watercolors and collage skillfully depict the boy's many happy moments, such as his wide-eyed wonder as he gazes upon the "green checkerboard" field, his surprise at being given a caught foul ball and his utter contentment as he and his dad lay on the couch at the end of the eventful day. Keane's classic pairing of a father-son relationship and baseball will be best shared one-on-one. As a blueprint for father-son fun, it's not a bad one. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
Released: May 18, 2009

Faint but distinct echoes of "Gingerbread Boy" resound through this tale of a young daredevil whose brain takes advantage of a headfirst fall to make a bid for freedom. Scuttling off like a curly pink toupee on legs, the brain evades the mailman and other pursuers—leaving Bobby, as his little sister puts it, "Dumb as an onion" until he takes off after it and, acting (obviously) "on gut instinct alone" successfully corrals it back into his cranium. All jug ears and gangly, flung-out limbs, Bobby makes a suitably daffy center for Clark's comic cartoons, and so high is the escapade's visual energy that some of the pop-eyed figures spill past the page edges. Letting no opportunity for a double entendre go by ("Bobby's body somehow sensed that life without a brain would be a hollow one"), Keane keeps the pacing as quick as the wit. Truly, a no-brainer. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >