This was a tough picture book to rate. This is a humorous story that features an ingenious kid sheriff. I found the main part of the story, that dealt with the problem of the outlaw Toad Brothers, to be slightly confusing. I couldn’t really see where the storyline was going, and some references, such as “cumin-scented town” would probably go right over the heads of young readers (or anyone who isn’t familiar with the ingredients in chili). However, the story’s resolution and final pages are pure genius and really upped my overall appreciation of the book.
Because of the deceiving plot, and some references and language that might not be understandable to kids, I would recommend this book for a read-aloud. Plus, it’s a western and the dialogue lends itself to really bad Texan accents!! How fun!
The illustrations by Lane Smith are perfect. They have a real old-time western feel to them that enhances the story. You can read more about Lane Smith and how he approached illustrating this book by visiting Watch. Connect. Read. : The Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads Trifecta.
Bob Shea also made a visit to the Nerdy Book Club and provides some wonderful advice on how to tell if a picture book is any good. He is an absolutely hilarious individual! Stop what you are doing right now, and burn all your books. (or how to tell if a picture book is good simply by reading it) by Bob Shea.