Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Overview

Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin', hootin' and hollerin', steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes ...

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Overview

Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin', hootin' and hollerin', steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/11/2014
Shea and Smith, the duo behind Big Plans, deliver a western yarn that’s long on cowboy slang and longer on screwball comedy. Mayor McMuffin of Drywater Gulch cannot abide the “hootin’, hollerin’, and cattle kissin’ ” Toad brothers, who are wreaking havoc in the arid one-horse town. At last, a boy in a 10-gallon hat rides “into town. Slowly. On a tortoise. Give him a minute.” He claims to be qualified as sheriff, due to his expertise on dinosaurs, and he stubbornly attributes the Toad brothers’ robberies and unusual treatment of cattle to velociraptors and tyrannosaurs. Kid Sheriff insists on reserving the jail for the likes of T. rex, absurd logic prevails, and the menacing Toads get their just deserts. Smith pictures sepia-tinted heroes and villains, and sets the action against an apt backdrop of cracked earth, speckled mesas, and spiky sagebrush. Shea maintains a deadpan drawl that mirrors the straightforward visuals. If children are more likely to know dinosaurs than B-movie chestnuts like “Gabby the town prospector,” adults can meet them halfway in this punchy read-aloud. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)
The Horn Book

Smith's over-the-top goofy townspeople are a perfect partner for Shea's stylistic shenanigans.
From the Publisher

*"A crowd-pleasin' knee-slapper that'll have 'em rolling in the aisles, yessirree." - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

*"Shea's humor is spot-on in Sherriff Ryan's unwavering logic . . . and Smith's illustrations match the deadpan silliness to a tee . . . Another stellar job by Shea and Smith." - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The outlaws of Drywater Gulch are no match for the new sheriff riding into town ever so slowly on his tortoise. When the kid sheriff blames the bank robbery and the stagecoach holdup on dinosaurs, it would appear that he is out of touch with reality. That is not the case, however, as he outsmarts the brothers Toad by cleverly using his wits. The earth tones used in the illustrations create a subdued palette reminiscent of the old-time western town. Lane’s illustrations, including his use of facial expressions and line, work in sync with the tall-tale text to create a laugh-out-loud story. Shea’s deadpan text begs to be read aloud. This far-fetched, over-the-top story is great fun. It will be a story hour favorite, and just the thing to get parents and children laughing together. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo; Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal
★ 07/01/2014
K-Gr 2—The gold stealin' and cattle kissin' Toad Brothers are terrorizing the town of Drywater Gulch again! So when seven-year-old Ryan rides into town on a tortoise and offers to help, the mayor immediately gives him the task of wrangling up the Toads. The new sheriff may not know anything about riding horses or lassoing crooks, but like most boys, he does know an awful lot about dinosaurs. As Ryan investigates the crime scenes, he blatantly blames dinosaurs for the crime in the town and sets out to nab the terrifying lizards. Although Sheriff Ryan is pretty ridiculous in his accusations, children will love the ending, since the little hero gets the last laugh. Shea's humor is spot-on in Sherriff Ryan's unwavering logic and assumptions, and his distinct characters will make this an instant hit at storytime. Smith's illustrations, with grainy color and vivid textures, match the deadpan silliness to a tee, and keen dinosaur hunters will love the few dinosaur mirages hidden in the background. Another stellar job by Shea and Smith.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-07-16
A young sheriff comes riding high—atop a tortoise—toward the troubled, "cumin-scented" town of Drywater Gulch. Just give him a minute. How to get the Toads—not the four-legged kind, but three lawless brothers saddled with a silly name and a yen to "steal your gold, kiss your cattle, and insult your chili"—into the hoosegow? Avowed dino-expert Ryan knows just the ploy: blame the big hole blasted into the bank on T. Rex and the stagecoach robbery on Velociraptors. The cattle-kissin'? Why, Triceratops, of course. Annoyed to no end at not getting proper credit for their crimes ("Why I smooched them beefy lips my own self!"), the Toads rudely occupy the clink: "HA! You can blow them dinersores out your nose Sheriff, this here jail is full up of real bonafide criminals!" "Hooray!" cheer the townsfolk. Sheriff Ryan just saddles up his reptilian steed and rides off into the sunset…over the next three days. The hulking Toads cut properly brutish figures in Smith's angular, sand-and-brown Wild West scenes, while their pint-sized nemesis sports the requisite white chaps and a huge white hat. A crowd-pleasin' knee-slapper that'll have 'em rolling in the aisles, yessirree. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596439757
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 70,520
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Shea

Bob Shea has written and illustrated more than a dozen picture books, including Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, and is the author of Big Plans, illustrated by Lane Smith. His writing career began at Comedy Central, and his characters and animations have appeared on Nick Jr., Playhouse Disney, and PBS Kids.

Lane Smith is a four-time recipient of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award and a two-time Caldecott Honor recipient, most recently for Grandpa Green. He is the author and illustrator of Abe Lincoln's Dream and It's a Book, which ahs been translated into over twenty languages, among many other books.

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