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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Kelly steps out on a limb, sending the titular intrepid boy (who last got into his great-aunt’s hair, literally, in the series opener) into a tree, where he meets a social misfit of a troll (with nose hair) named Stimple, a squawky chicken named Miss Flaversham, many thousands of squirrels, and a creepy red-eyed rat, among other creatures. Jackson’s been blown away while cleaning the pool following a dustup with his little brother, and needs to find his way home (“In Which You Think This Is The Wizard of Oz, but It Isn’t,” a chapter title notes). Poor Jackson has to do that and teach his readers about the power of prayer in this unsettled mix of a book that has laugh-out-loud moments, stinky giggly ones, a bit of allegory (that rat is creepy for a reason), and clever illustrations. It also struggles a bit with its Christian apparatus of meaning. Kelly is an imaginative writer; here’s hoping her imagination, like her hero, continues to buck restraint. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)