[I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. No other compensation was received.]
If you’re into smart, subversive, and satirical humor — this is the book for you!
While getting his teeth cleaned by two gossipy, kibitzing cleaner fish, Danny is aghast that they think he has a lisp! Instead of saying to himself, “They’re random fish, what the fiddle diddle do they know?” and moving on with his life, he runs to his friend Steve the snake. Danny frantically asks him what he thinks of his elocution and if, in fact, he thinks he speaks with a lisp.
Well, Steve doesn’t even know what a lisp is — but when pressed, he and the other snakes declare that yes, Danny does speak a bit strangely. That’s enough for Danny. Off he goes to the big city in search of a dentist.
Danny meets with the dentist, tells him about his horrible lisp, and opens wide. One look inside Danny’s mouth and the dentist declares that he has a jolly big gap in the middle! The dentist assures him that he did the right thing by coming to him. (Uh huh.) The dentist works all afternoon fixing his gap and when he’s done Danny says, “Marvellouth! Doctor, I’m tho happy I could kith you!”
Danny is now the happiest hippo in the whole wide world!
The next day Danny is showing off his braces when a crocodile comes up to him and asks where he got those beautiful things. Danny refers him to the dentist and off the crocodile goes!
The next thing we know, the crocodile is sitting in the dentist’s chair and the dentist is standing on top of him admiring his teeth. After the dentist declares that his teeth are perfect, the crocodile urges him to look a little closer.
Clearly this dentist has never ever ever read The Gingerbread Man or Little Red Riding Hood — because even my four-year-old son is yelling at the book warning the dentist not to lean in closer. “He’s going to eat you!!!”
Apparently I need to reread these books too because I didn’t think this book would go there.
(Oh. It goes there.)
The dentist leans in for a closer look and gets swallowed by the crocodile!
I’m all, “Oh, geez!” and my son is all, “See! See! I knew he was going to eat him!”
The crocodile understandably panics because he’s JUST EATEN THE DENTIST, but fortunately, he’s a bright one. He puts on the dentist’s scrubs and calls for the next patient to come in.
Yes! Seriously! The crocodile becomes an excellent dentist. That doesn’t mean a patient doesn’t go missing every now and then — because what do you expect? He’s a crocodile after all. These things happen!
The book ends with Danny sitting in the swamp smiling and proclaiming that he is, “the happieth hippopotamuth on earth.”
After reading it with my son, I asked him so many questions because I wanted to know how much he understood. Did he get it? Did he understand the deeper meanings? He laughed hard, we both did, while reading the book. He asked me to read it to him a zillion times. But did he get it? Did he understand the dangers of listening to random and unnecessary comments from others? Did he see that maybe Danny should have learned more about what a lisp is and what it means before running off to a dentist? And what does it say that Danny is happy and blissfully ignorant? Should someone tell him or just leave him be?
He had a lot to say and I’m impressed with how much he understood — but mainly he just wanted me to read it to him again. (and again. and again.)
Roughly Ages 3 to 7. Flying Eye Books. April 2015. 40 pages. ISBN:978-1909263420 Fiction.
Where to Get it:
- [Affiliate Link] Amazon.com
- [Independent Bookstore] Indiebound.org — Ask your local bookstore for it.
- [Library] Woldcat.org — Ask your library to order it.
You Should Read Danny because:
- Danny is gloriously and devilishly funny with sophisticated and playful illustrations.
- It feels like the beautiful and sassy lovechild of a New Yorker cartoon and a Grimm’s fairy tale.
- I love this book! It has so many profound lessons and important truths to it.
- This book is an awesome book to read with children, adolescents, and other adults to get some great conversations going.
- Anyone that’s interested in talking about assumptions, expectations, absurdities, conflicts of interest, and paradigms — will love this book.
- It’s very funny while simultaneously being shocking, a little wrong, and oddly uplifting.
- To be clear: It never makes fun of people who have lisps — it is making fun of people panicking about something they don’t know anything about (among other things). The humor isn’t mean spirited.
- While it has a lot of layers to it and wonderful discussion points — really, it’s just a very funny picture book.
- The colors in Danny are wonderful! The yellows used in the illustrations make this book bright and happy, loud and funny.
- The story assumes that its readers are smart. You’ll be impressed with what your kiddo understands.
- Start reading it to them when they’re little and keep reading it to them — it’ll be fun to see what they understand and what they notice as they get older. Heck, I’m looking forward to seeing what I understand and what I notice as I get older!
- It’s an awesome and hilarious cautionary tale!
Author and Illustrator Websites:
- Gwendal Le Bec
- Yann Le Bec
- Their Collaborative Website: News of the Times
More Reviews of this Book:
- Kirkus Reviews
- Design of the Picture Book
- The Illustrated Forest
- My Friend Lucy
- Read It Daddy!
- OHH Dear
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This book sounds hysterically funny! I love subversive books when they’re done well, you know, like THIS IS NOT MY HAT and I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen. Kids DON’T think it’s good to eat a dentist, after all, and they’re not going to think that eating a rabbit instead of “talking it out” is the way to go either. They’re just plain funny 😀
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I Want My Hat Back is the book that started it all for us — so we are huge fans of subversive books. It is so much fun for my son to “get to be the adult.” I find it is empowering for him!
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