Gosh, it's happy news when a book gets a starred review--and perhaps extra-happy when it's from KIRKUS, which is often the first review we see. Huge congratulations to Ammi-Joan Paquette for this gushy, lively, wonderful starred review for her October picture book release, PETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO, illustrated by Joy Ang and published by Clarion!
Quiet Petey and his devil spawn of a best friend indulge in a little chaos propelled by gleefully sesquipedalian writing.
Pru, a ginger-haired kid in a gray knit cap, carefully collects kitties on her way to her best friend Petey's greenhouse. Inside, the serene chap is potting a little plant, happy in his tranquility. That bliss is upended when Pru, "feeling tricksy," pierces the quiet with a caterwauling chorus of cats. Petey retaliates by inviting in a dog, but the inevitable anarchy is far more to Pru's liking than Petey's: "It's a BROUHAHA!" They erupt into fisticuffs and find themselves falling to certain doom. Fortunately, they are saved at the last minute and make up with each other...until Pru feels another bout of mischief coming on. At every opportunity, Paquette works in a word or phrase that might be unfamiliar to her readership; these are helpfully set in bold type. Highlighted words include everything from "higgledy-piggledy" and "peeved" to "mayhem" and the fabulous "defenestration." Rather than come off as jarring, these words blend seamlessly with the plot, aided in no small part by Ang's pitch-perfect digital art. Even the endpapers do double duty as a glossary of the aforementioned terms.
Here's hoping that there are more kerfuffles and shenanigans in the future for this undeniably delightful duo.