PHOOEY! by Marc Rosenthal
Kirkus Star


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10
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A retro comic-strip style and a classic slapstick premise give rise to a side-splitting visual romp. “PHOOEY!” shouts a little boy (whose resemblance to Tintin is striking) as he kicks a tin can into the air. “Nothing ever happens around here!” The oblivious boy grouses his way through town as the kicked can sets off a chain of events that result in perfect chaos: In short order, an elephant has escaped from a zoo, barrels are rolling down the streets, pies are flying, umbrellas are poking ladies in the rear and so on—as the little boy continues his lament. Each perfectly paced page vibrates with energy, quick sequences leading to hilariously busy full-page spreads. Sound effects fill the page, “flumps,” “boinks,” “splooshes” and “poits” creating a visual cacophony and making the protagonist’s obtuseness even funnier. Any adherence to logical reality is happily abandoned to the series of gags, so one subplot involves skulking, peg-legged pirates. Sprinkled throughout are other homages to classics of yore—a man with a yellow hat and the Café Celeste details—that complement the sunny palette and gentle style. Priceless. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-075248-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2007


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