Review of Go-Go Guys

Go-Go Guys Go-Go Guys
by Rowboat Watkins; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp.
9/23    9781797205717    $15.99

The Go-Go Guys, three egg-shaped youngsters, “NEVER sleep!” and have brains that go “BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” While they’re tucked into bed reflecting on more appealing activities than going to sleep (such as driving cars, bulldozers, and UFOs), their imaginations seemingly manifest into reality, resulting in a wrecking ball smashing their tiny house and setting off a wild ride to the moon and back. The energetic rhymes, lively illustrations, and subtle storytelling details take center stage. Told primarily through dialogue, with an occasional sound effect interlude (“VROOM VROOM VROOM”), the absurd rhyming text bounces between word balloons and across page-turns with surprising fluidity. The comics format never grows stale, constantly shifting from fast-paced multi-panel layouts to powerful double-page spreads (“KABOOM”). Watkins’s fantastical illustrations, in a muted retro palette, appear hand-drawn and organic. A wobbly, pencil-like line frames nearly everything from characters to panel borders. The brisk rhymes will pull readers quickly though this bedtime romp. Watkins has delivered a dose of playful chaos that will most certainly connect with young readers who also “aren’t wired for sleep.”

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Patrick Gall
Patrick Gall works as a librarian for children in preschool through eighth grade at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.

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