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PETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO by Ammi-Joan Paquette Kirkus Star


by Ammi-Joan Paquette ; illustrated by Joy Ang

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-544-03888-2
Publisher: Clarion

Quiet Petey and his devil spawn of a best friend indulge in a little chaos propelled by gleefully sesquipedalian writing.

Pru, a ginger-haired kid in a gray knit cap, carefully collects kitties on her way to her best friend Petey’s greenhouse. Inside, the serene chap is potting a little plant, happy in his tranquility. That bliss is upended when Pru, “feeling tricksy,” pierces the quiet with a caterwauling chorus of cats. Petey retaliates by inviting in a dog, but the inevitable anarchy is far more to Pru’s liking than Petey’s: “It’s a BROUHAHA!” They erupt into fisticuffs and find themselves falling to certain doom. Fortunately, they are saved at the last minute and make up with each other…until Pru feels another bout of mischief coming on. At every opportunity, Paquette works in a word or phrase that might be unfamiliar to her readership; these are helpfully set in bold type. Highlighted words include everything from “higgledy-piggledy” and “peeved” to “mayhem” and the fabulous “defenestration.” Rather than come off as jarring, these words blend seamlessly with the plot, aided in no small part by Ang’s pitch-perfect digital art. Even the endpapers do double duty as a glossary of the aforementioned terms.

Here’s hoping that there are more kerfuffles and shenanigans in the future for this undeniably delightful duo. (Picture book. 4-8)