With moral support and practice, anything is possible!
“Skate! says Esther. / Stoked? says Chester. / Totally! say Hester and Sylvester. / Never, says Lester.” At the Beachside Skate Park, four cats are excited to use their skateboards, but one gray kitty is not. It seems Lester thinks skateboarding is “scary.” The other kitties gently cajole Lester to give it a try and practice. They pop a helmet on their reluctant companion’s head and say, “Please”—but when Lester says, “no” again, they roll into the park and have a “RAD!” time while Lester peers over the wall at them. When Lester concedes, “Maybe,” the others enthusiastically respond with “awesome,” “gnarly,” and “cool!” Lester doesn’t succeed the first time, but the four skateboarding veterans encourage the wobbly cat, and they all celebrate when Lester finally prevails. Everyone has a great time. Then Lester sees some surfers and suggests they try that tomorrow—but: “No, no, no, no way! say Esther, Chester, Hester, and Sylvester.” Bustard’s story is told entirely in her characters’ one-word exclamations and dialogue tags, using type style rather than quotation marks to denote their speech. It’s easy to follow, as Wiseman’s cartoons supply an unmistakable visual narrative. Cartoon kitties of various colors in helmets and streetwear skate in a park decorated in bright graffiti. Young listeners will identify with Lester’s fears and will soon be able to read the story on their own; as Chester says: “Righteous!”
Bright in mood, message, and hue, this is a winner. (Picture book. 3-7)