Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BECAUSE I STUBBED MY TOE by Shawn Byous

BECAUSE I STUBBED MY TOE

by Shawn Byous, illustrated by Shawn Byous

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62370-088-1
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Byous explores the domino theory—and they all fall down—to comic effect.

According to chaos theory, somewhere in the Amazon, a butterfly flaps its wings, which down the road apiece causes a tsunami to wash over Jakarta. Here, a boy gets out of bed and stubs his toe against the leg of a chair, which causes a girl to drop her ice cream cone, a bicyclist to drill his head into a wasps’ nest, an old man to jump in a lake, a seesaw rider to be launched into space and a herd of elephants to stampede—which eventually resolves the ice cream tragedy. The action is continuous, the energy level is in the red zone, and the colors are strong (more pleasing than garish). The book works well as an early reader in that it has a humorous and linear storyline and few words, which are for the most part manageable, although Byous also throws in a few curveballs, such as teeter-totter, bouncy and knocked. Byous is also a master of the motion line—almost everything here is jittery or zipping or crashing—and all the little symbols that help readers feel part of the action, like the lightning bolts and stars that attend the mashing of a toe into a chair leg early in the morning.

An eye-tickling, cacophonous vocabulary builder. (Picture book. 4-8)