“Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show,” by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Dan Santat; Abrams Books for Young Readers, $16.95, 40 pages, ages 4-6.
This totally awesome tale of daredevil Kel Gilligan will amaze and astound preschool readers. Follow Kel’s daring exploits as he attempts such feats as eating broccoli, facing “The Potty of Doom,” and not interrupting his mother’s telephone conversation. Each death-defying exploit is witnessed by an awestruck group of what appears to be Kel’s adult family members. Illustrator Dan Santat (“Tom’s Tweet;” see our review here) employs Adobe Photoshop with “100% fearlessness” to create a bold and eye-popping place. Kel’s red tricycle and white striped jumpsuit, complete with matching helmet, cape and gloves recall the glory days of real-life showman and motorcycle stuntman Evel Knevel. Readers will enjoy pointing out that these ‘extraordinary’ stunts are in fact quite similar to activities they do every day.