Altruism runs amuck—or at least into muck—in this glutinous outing.
In rollicking rhymed verse that really begs to be read aloud, an entire cavalcade of would-be rescuers, from a pirate to a queen with 17 nobles, joins a careless lad mired in a large and expanding mound of glutinous green glop. “Dear friends, how very kind of you / to try and get me out of goo. / I do admire all your pluck. / Just thought I’d point out… / I’M STILL STUCK!!!” In his rambunctious cartoon illustrations Burach miscounts those “nobles.” Still, he not only nicely captures the frantic slapstick of the gooey goings-on, but also steps out of what is still, sad to note, the picture-book mainstream by depicting Billy and the other human members of the popeyed cast, except for a wizard and a purple acrobat, as brown-skinned. The goo itself has a pleasingly disgusting and shiny look to it. A mouse’s sneeze at last causes a large pink octopus to jump out with all the rest in tow—but Billy loses a shoe, which everyone else immediately jumps back in to fetch.
Hamburg leaves readers with a question: “What would you do?” Besides chortling at such gleeful, errant nonsense, that is. (Picture book. 5-7)