Barry Gott Illustration


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I'm represented by The Herman Agency for Children's Books.
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Honk! Splat! Vroom! written and illustrated by Barry Gott

A book with plenty of honks, plenty of vrooms, and more than its fair share of splats! Tensions run high as five gray mice, driving cars of varying hues, start their engines. From there, it's a struggle between the blue car's driver and its four competitors. When their bad luck becomes its good fortune, the little racer rubs it in their collective faces. Karma is no fan of bad manners, however, and soon the blue car's mouse is in last place again, only this time with a goose companion in tow. Happily, when it sees the other racers threatened by a nasty cat, it takes the newly learned lesson about the golden rule to heart and rescues the lot. With a text that's almost completely limited to sound effects ("BOINK!" "SPLASH!" "SCREEECH!!!") and the occasional outburst of gloating laughter, the book works as well in a storytime as it does with emerging readers just beginning to work out phonetics. Happily, this simplicity of language is not dragged down by pedantic action. The digital art features clean, black lines filled with soft, bright hues that emulate watercolor; they are full of motion, emphasizing the need for speed. Fun fails to usurp message; listeners will get the point, but they won't feel bludgeoned. Gott keeps his moralizing subdued, his action hot, and his young audience pumped. On track to become a repeated favorite. (Picture book. 3-6) -Kirkus

Five mice sit in their crayon-colored race cars, poised at the starting line. The fans, tidily arranged in a pink egg-carton grandstand, look on. Three page-turns later the scene has degenerated from Formula One to demolition derby as the cars meet disaster at every turn. An altruistic goose and a malevolent cat play their roles in a jaunty narrative that manages, with a minimum of text and rough-and ready digital illustrations, to convey suspense, poignancy, irony, heroism, and the exhilaration of a situation in which, against all odds, everybody wins. Well, except for a sodden ginger cat who, Malvolio-like, adds a dark note before the final curtain. Spacious book design, in-your-face typography, dynamic composition, unabashed emotional sign-posting, and speedy pacing add up to a story that invites a spirited read-aloud or read-along. This joyful adventure is a rare example of a story that gives equal weight to the thrill of competition and the power of cooperation, all without a trace of soppiness. -Horn Book

  Unless otherwise stated, all content is © by Barry Gott