Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All

Overview

It’s a factual face-off in this superhero picture book from all-star Peter Catalanotto.

Question Boy wants answers. He lives for them. But none of the town’s action heroes—Oil Man, Paperboy, Police Woman—can satisfy Question Boy’s heroic need to know!

Enter Little Miss Know-It-All. She has an answer for every who-what-where-when-and-how…and what she doesn’t know she simply makes up.

And what about you? Ready ...

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Overview

It’s a factual face-off in this superhero picture book from all-star Peter Catalanotto.

Question Boy wants answers. He lives for them. But none of the town’s action heroes—Oil Man, Paperboy, Police Woman—can satisfy Question Boy’s heroic need to know!

Enter Little Miss Know-It-All. She has an answer for every who-what-where-when-and-how…and what she doesn’t know she simply makes up.

And what about you? Ready for a wrangle? Keen on a quibble? Then come along to the town park to cheer the two of them on! Vibrant, rich illustrations merge fantasy with reality in this exploration of questions, answers, and what it means to be right.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Catalanotto’s surreal suburbia, many of the residents are costumed superheroes—there’s Garbage Man and the duo of Mailman and Paperboy to name a few. But their grownup powers are useless in the face of the title characters’ Kryptonite-like relentlessness. Question Boy sends people fleeing with his endless interrogations (“Could you fit a whale in there?” he asks Garbage Man of his truck. “How about a brontosaurus?”), while Little Miss Know-It-All evokes a similar response with her nonstop spewing of knowledge, accurate or not (“Hippos run faster than people! Hamsters blink only one eye at a time!”). When these two go toe to toe in a city park (complete with references to classic Star Trek and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), it’s more than a comic smackdown. Catalanotto (Ivan the Terrier) slyly uses the duel to comment on the disintegration of civil discourse, the importance of connecting to others as individuals, and the possibilities for common ground through simply listening. A story that starts out as a wonderfully weird comedy ends up a surprisingly nuanced lesson in the art of being human. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All
Peter Catalanotto. S&S/Atheneum/Jackson, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0670-4

In Catalanotto’s surreal suburbia, many of the residents are costumed superheroes—there’s Garbage Man and the duo of Mailman and Paperboy to name a few. But their grownup powers are useless in the face of the title characters’ Kryptonite-like relentlessness. Question Boy sends people fleeing with his endless interrogations (“Could you fit a whale in there?” he asks Garbage Man of his truck. “How about a brontosaurus?”), while Little Miss Know-It-All evokes a similar response with her nonstop spewing of knowledge, accurate or not (“Hippos run faster than people! Hamsters blink only one eye at a time!”). When these two go toe to toe in a city park (complete with references to classic Star Trek and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), it’s more than a comic smackdown. Catalanotto (Ivan the Terrier) slyly uses the duel to comment on the disintegration of civil discourse, the importance of connecting to others as individuals, and the possibilities for common ground through simply listening. A story that starts out as a wonderfully weird comedy ends up a surprisingly nuanced lesson in the art of being human. Ages 4–8.

Publishers Weekly, November 21, 2011, *STAR

Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All
By Peter Catalanotto
(Atheneum; ISBN: 9781442406704 9; February 2012; Spring catalog p.15)

An irresistible force meets an immovable object with hilarious results.The superheroes that populate this town are no match for Question Boy. With his insatiable need to know, he can make Garbage Man, Oil Man and Wonder Waitress run for cover to escape his incessant queries. Then he meets Little Miss Know-It-All, who answers all his questions and then some, peppering him with one factoid after another until he is supine on the grass, seemingly defeated. Dizzy with victory, she starts to leave in triumph, when Question Boy raises the most unanswerable question of all, the all-purpose “Why,” screaming it over and over until she is driven to give the only possible response. Used most often by exasperated adults, her answer settles the matter convincingly, at least for the present. Thus the contest is done, and to the cheers of the onlookers, the two rivals walk off together as friends. These precocious characters are instantly recognizable, and Catalanotto brings them to life with tenderness and humor in rapid-paced action and dialogue. The text, boldfaced and widely spaced, is set in the delightfully and appropriately named “CC Yada Yada Yada.” Extra-bright and colorful watercolor paintings of various sizes, shapes and perspective perfectly complement and enhance the tale. Grownups beware. Youngsters might have their own questions and answers after this romp.
Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2012 *STARRED

Question Boy Meets
Little Miss Know-It-All


by Peter Catalanotto;
illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary Jackson/Atheneum 40 pp.
2/12 978-1-4424-0670-4 $16.99

Young children do seem to have a superhuman capacity for interrogation. Catalanotto takes this concept and flies with it to create his intrepid caped crusader for whom no question is too daunting or trivial to ask. Patrolling a residential neighborhood, rendered in verdant sun-drenched watercolors, Question Boy takes on and bests one costumed everyday hero after another. For example, while Garbage Man (bedecked in head-to-toe spandex with a giant red G on his chest) is “busy freeing the city of filth and rubbish,” QB fires increasingly impossible queries at him—“How much stuff can you fit in your truck?” “More than an elephant?” “Can you fit a whale in there?”—until the outmatched sanitation engineer has no choice but to flee. Obviously, parents of young children will identify with his plight—and the plight of Police Woman, Mechanic Man, Wonder Waitress, etc.—but, happily, the book’s humor is not adults-only. The caricatured scenarios build to an absurdist height when from the depths of the park comes, finally, a worthy opponent who has all the answers and then some. When Question Boy and the tiara-and-tutu-clad Little Miss Know-It-All face off against each other, it’s the most satisfying showdown since…well, there really is no comparison.

The Horn Book, March/April 2012

From the Publisher

Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All

Peter Catalanotto. S&S/Atheneum/Jackson, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0670-4

In Catalanotto’s surreal suburbia, many of the residents are costumed superheroes—there’s Garbage Man and the duo of Mailman and Paperboy to name a few. But their grownup powers are useless in the face of the title characters’ Kryptonite-like relentlessness. Question Boy sends people fleeing with his endless interrogations (“Could you fit a whale in there?” he asks Garbage Man of his truck. “How about a brontosaurus?”), while Little Miss Know-It-All evokes a similar response with her nonstop spewing of knowledge, accurate or not (“Hippos run faster than people! Hamsters blink only one eye at a time!”). When these two go toe to toe in a city park (complete with references to classic Star Trek and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), it’s more than a comic smackdown. Catalanotto (Ivan the Terrier) slyly uses the duel to comment on the disintegration of civil discourse, the importance of connecting to others as individuals, and the possibilities for common ground through simply listening. A story that starts out as a wonderfully weird comedy ends up a surprisingly nuanced lesson in the art of being human. Ages 4–8.

Publishers Weekly, November 21, 2011, *STAR

Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All

By Peter Catalanotto

(Atheneum; ISBN: 9781442406704 9; February 2012; Spring catalog p.15)

An irresistible force meets an immovable object with hilarious results.The superheroes that populate this town are no match for Question Boy. With his insatiable need to know, he can make Garbage Man, Oil Man and Wonder Waitress run for cover to escape his incessant queries. Then he meets Little Miss Know-It-All, who answers all his questions and then some, peppering him with one factoid after another until he is supine on the grass, seemingly defeated. Dizzy with victory, she starts to leave in triumph, when Question Boy raises the most unanswerable question of all, the all-purpose “Why,” screaming it over and over until she is driven to give the only possible response. Used most often by exasperated adults, her answer settles the matter convincingly, at least for the present. Thus the contest is done, and to the cheers of the onlookers, the two rivals walk off together as friends. These precocious characters are instantly recognizable, and Catalanotto brings them to life with tenderness and humor in rapid-paced action and dialogue. The text, boldfaced and widely spaced, is set in the delightfully and appropriately named “CC Yada Yada Yada.” Extra-bright and colorful watercolor paintings of various sizes, shapes and perspective perfectly complement and enhance the tale. Grownups beware. Youngsters might have their own questions and answers after this romp.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2012 *STARRED

Question Boy Meets

Little Miss Know-It-All

by Peter Catalanotto;

illus. by the author

Preschool, Primary Jackson/Atheneum 40 pp.

2/12 978-1-4424-0670-4 $16.99

Young children do seem to have a superhuman capacity for interrogation. Catalanotto takes this concept and flies with it to create his intrepid caped crusader for whom no question is too daunting or trivial to ask. Patrolling a residential neighborhood, rendered in verdant sun-drenched watercolors, Question Boy takes on and bests one costumed everyday hero after another. For example, while Garbage Man (bedecked in head-to-toe spandex with a giant red G on his chest) is “busy freeing the city of filth and rubbish,” QB fires increasingly impossible queries at him—“How much stuff can you fit in your truck?” “More than an elephant?” “Can you fit a whale in there?”—until the outmatched sanitation engineer has no choice but to flee. Obviously, parents of young children will identify with his plight—and the plight of Police Woman, Mechanic Man, Wonder Waitress, etc.—but, happily, the book’s humor is not adults-only. The caricatured scenarios build to an absurdist height when from the depths of the park comes, finally, a worthy opponent who has all the answers and then some. When Question Boy and the tiara-and-tutu-clad Little Miss Know-It-All face off against each other, it’s the most satisfying showdown since…well, there really is no comparison.

The Horn Book, March/April 2012

Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever asked an impossible question? Question Boy roams the neighborhood, encountering super-hero figures and asking them difficult questions. The boy's cape flutters in the breeze, and his boots scrape the ground. Question Boy interrogates Garbage Man about how much garbage can fit in the truck. Then the boy grills Oil Man about how a tank works. All day long, Question Boy wonders and wanders. But no one can answer all his questions, and the sad boy finally meets Little Miss Know-It-All. She has so many answers, and Question Boy's head aches just listening to her speak. Question Boy finds out that cats have thirty-two muscles in each ear, the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows, and dolphins sleep with one eye open. Soon Question Boy hides under his cape, dizzy from all this information whizzing through the air at once. In this amusing story, young readers will discover what happens when you ask too many questions. This lively and engaging story will entertain thinkers of all ages. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Question Boy roams the city, vanquishing foes with endless queries. Garbage Man, Police Woman, and Oil Man all flee from his barrage, but he meets his match in Little Miss Know-It-All. They face off, hurling questions and random facts till they both collapse. Strong, clever writing plays with the comic superhero genre: "He left Wonder Waitress woozy. Even Mailman and Paperboy were no match for his need to know." Unfortunately, the impressionistic watercolor and gouache art is an unnatural fit for comic-book adventure, and the slightly blurry people can feel bland and stilted. Little Miss Know-It-All's litany of trivia indiscriminately mixes truth with fiction, leaving young fact hounds to wonder what is strange but true, and what is "malarkey." While the concept of community workers as superheroes and children with super-strength skills at asking questions and knowing all the answers will appeal to both parents and kids, the negatives here outweigh the positives.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
An irresistible force meets an immovable object with hilarious results. The superheroes that populate this town are no match for Question Boy. With his insatiable need to know, he can make Garbage Man, Oil Man and Wonder Waitress run for cover to escape his incessant queries. Then he meets Little Miss Know-It-All, who answers all his questions and then some, peppering him with one factoid after another until he is supine on the grass, seemingly defeated. Dizzy with victory, she starts to leave in triumph, when Question Boy raises the most unanswerable question of all, the all-purpose "Why," screaming it over and over until she is driven to give the only possible response. Used most often by exasperated adults, her answer settles the matter convincingly, at least for the present. Thus the contest is done, and to the cheers of the onlookers, the two rivals walk off together as friends. These precocious characters are instantly recognizable, and Catalanotto brings them to life with tenderness and humor in rapid-paced action and dialogue. The text, boldfaced and widely spaced, is set in the delightfully and appropriately named "CC Yada Yada Yada." Extra-bright and colorful watercolor paintings of various sizes, shapes and perspective perfectly complement and enhance the tale. Grownups beware. Youngsters might have their own questions and answers after this romp. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442406704
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,444,726
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Catalanotto has written fourteen books for children, including Ivan the Terrier; Matthew A.B.C.; Daisy 1,2,3; Kitten Red, Yellow, Blue; and Emily’s Art. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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