A far-fetched excuse for tardiness at school with a twist ending—and dinopirates.
The eponymous Our Kid is a young, anthropomorphic goat who can’t seem to get his act together. Despite his parents’ guidance, he’s late to school and has neither his homework nor his uniform. Sent to the corner by his teacher as punishment, Our Kid weaves a fantastic tall tale to explain his tardiness and unpreparedness for school, which involves a shortcut, a submarine, “dinopirates” (who steal his homework and pants), and a helpful elephant with a howdah on its back who finally brings him across crocodile-infested waters to school. Throughout, onomatopoeic neologisms pepper the text and provide a silly sensibility that enhances its telling. (“Why so glumbumtious, little goat?” the elephant asks.) His exasperated teacher doesn’t believe a word Our Kid says until green ET’s appear and tell Our Kid that they’ve found his pants and homework while on an expedition to capture a dinosaur for their museum. Chagrined, the teacher gives Our Kid a gold star on his homework and says “You can be as late as you like tomorrow.” Ross’ cartoon-style illustrations with their characteristic shaky ink line and painterly watercolors evoke humor that reinforces the absurdity of the tale.
A tall tale with lots of fun kidding around. (Picture book. 4-8)