In a time when brawn is prized, a scrawny caveboy must use his brains to pass an initiation and hunt a fierce beast.
Dave Unga-Bunga has some big shoes to fill: his dad invented the wheel, and his grandfather invented fire. Dave is smaller and skinnier than any of his friends and is feeling apprehensive about his Baby Go Boom ritual, in which he and the other 12-year-olds are expected to together hunt and kill a fearsome creature (like a saber-toothed tiger or a giant jellyfish). This is the group's test to become contributing members of their village; there is no room for failure. Even though Dave is the underdog, he relies on his plucky can-do inventiveness to save his friends. When confronted by a savage saber-toothed tiger—the same one that years ago killed his mom—will his brains be enough? With his struggle to find his place in the world, Dave is an endearing and spunky character readers will root for as he uses his quick-thinking skills to save the day. Bright colors and animated, exaggeratedly doofy characters (unibrows, snaggled teeth) buoy the rollicking action, mixing intrigue and lots of giggles. Jokes about underpants and poop abound—this is a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Readers may note that Dave is lighter-skinned than a couple of his companions, though he looks no more dignified than the others.
A lively series opener. (Graphic fantasy. 7-12)