Reviews for Giddy-Up, Daddy!

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
"Once there was a dad who was really good at playing horsey." After he's lassoed by some horse rustlers, his kids must rescue him. The story is exhausting, but it works as a fantasy for both children (they're heroes!) and insecure dads (they're super-fun!). The art has the slightly retro look of Dan Yaccarino's, only with less breathing room.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
In this hilarious romp, a daddy must call upon his stellar horsing-around abilities to guarantee a good time be had by all. "Once there was a dad who was really good at playing horsey. Seriously, he was the best." This first page of the book shows little brother and older sister perched on his back ready for adventure. One day, dad is outside practicing his jumps when a couple of sinister horse rustlers capture him. So begins the quest to find dad, rescue him and escape up north. Their journey takes them at a rapid pace to a rodeo, onto the tight rope in a circus tent, into the middle of a polo match, onto the racetrack during the Kentucky Derby and up the side of a Canadian mountain. During each part of their travels, Daddy makes sure to keep them safe since they are constantly just one step ahead of rustlers. With danger always lurking, the text has a lot of "but then"s spurring readers to quickly turn each page. Cummings dresses the thrilling tale with cartoony illustrations chock-full of zany details that kids will find appealing (but perhaps at times a bit frenetic). As one can guess, the kids save the day and their horsey daddy all in time for dinnertime at sunset. For an unabashedly unsentimental laugh-out-loud tale that celebrates fathers' loving, playful side--as well as their stamina--look no further. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #3

The childhood game of "horsey" leaps into outlandish territory as a bespectacled, bald, and very accommodating father eagerly bounds about with his daughter and diapered son riding on his back. The rambunc-tious narrative reads like a spaghetti Western: "He was sure-footed on any terrain--carpet, hardwood, or linoleum," writes Cummings. "He could scoop up his kids and take them from bed to breakfast before the toast popped up. And he hardly ever bucked." When two horse rustlers lure Dad away with sugar cubes, it's up to the kids to rescue him from the rodeo, after which their adventures take them to the Kentucky Derby, a polo match, the circus, and exotic--Canada. With digital cartoons that capitalize on each twist and turn (and play up the dad-as-horse jokes at every opportunity), Cummings delivers a boisterous tribute to devoted fathers. Ages 2-5. Agent: Ronnie Ann Herman, the Herman Agency. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

K-Gr 1--"Once there was a dad who was really good at playing horsey. Seriously, he was the best." One day, he is kidnapped by horse rustlers. His daughter and infant son track him down to find that he has been entered in a rodeo. When he spies his children, he bucks the bad guys out of the arena, the kids climb on his back, and the race is on. They gallop off to hide in a tent and find themselves atop a high wire with the rustlers close behind. They zoom down a slide and through The Flaming Hoop of Doom! and hide in the midst of a polo match. With the rustlers hot on their trail, Dad and the kids rocket around a dirt track and win the Kentucky Derby. They keep going, all the way to Canada, where the siblings reveal themselves to be Canadian Mounties. After they capture the bad guys, Dad trots them back home, just in time for dinner. The preposterous story makes sense when the last illustration reveals a backyard full of toys that represent the scenes of the adventures and the stuffed-animal bad guys. Cummings enlivens this silly romp with energetic cartoonlike illustrations that feature the galloping dad and his daredevil kids in the forefront of every scene. The illustrations vary from spot drawings to full spreads, with the page-turning action moving toward the right. This rollicking read is sure to be a hit with horsey lovers everywhere.--Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

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