Review of Link + Hud: Heroes by a Hair

Link + Hud: Heroes by a HairLink + Hud: Heroes by a Hair
by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey; illus. by the authors
Intermediate    Norton    240 pp.
3/23    9781324016090    $16.95

With underwear on their heads and kitchen implements held high (for example), brothers Lincoln and Hudson imagine themselves into various superheroic scenarios, wreaking havoc around their house. Their hardworking parents (Dad’s an inventor and podiatrist; Mom runs the medical practice), fed up with distracted teen sitters, hire a new “mature” (“she’s ancient!” says Link) babysitter. Gold-toothed Ms. Joyce administers time-outs in the bathroom (“I’ll never understand why parents these days send they kids to they rooms…All ’em toys and games”), compulsively cleans, and talks back to her “stories” on TV. The brothers’ imaginary-play energy turns to foiling their nemesis—with unexpected results. The Pumphrey brothers’ tale about two highly creative, collaborative, and spirited brothers is told through a hugely engaging mix of lively ­comic-panel adventures (for Link and Hud’s imaginings) and a copiously illustrated chapter-book format (for real life). Where the scenes intersect often leads to hilarity, as when Hud shows up naked in the living room while Dad is pitching his Black hair care product. “‘Good heavens!’ shouted a lady on the couch, who dropped the open Au Salon bottle she had been smelling, which sent cocoa butter–scented shampoo squirting across the coffee table”—and it just gets funnier from there.

From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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