Picture Book Month: Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show by Michael Buckley

As part of this month's celebration of picture books, I'm going to highlight some of my recent favorites.  The one I'm highlighting today, I found hilarious and the students I shared it with did as well.

Title: Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show
Author: Michael Buckley
Illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0379-9
Picture Book
Grades PreK-3


From Michael Buckley, the bestselling author of the Sisters Grimm and NERDS series, and Dan Santat, author-illustrator of Sidekicks, comes this hilarious picture book starring Kel Gilligan (a.k.a. “The Boy Without Fear”) that encourages kids to laugh at their fears and celebrates the bravery it takes to try new things no matter how ordinary. Narrated by Kel himself as he attempts his “stunts” with Evel Knievel–like flair, the story unfolds as a performance in which readers themselves become part of the audience, encouraging Kel to get dressed all by himself (without a net!), eat new foods like broccoli (eww!), and take a bath (gasp!). Bold, interactive, and downright silly, this is a book to make kids cheer and attempt some “stunts” of their own.


I laughed all the way through this book. Kel Gilligan's tough attitude as he faces common childhood challenges including broccoli, the Potty of Doom, a bath, and getting dressed is giggle-inducing. The way the author takes these seemingly simple activities and turns each into a stunt of giant proportions is very entertaining. I also like the way the illustrator made some of the illustrations seem as if they are being viewed through a video camera lens.  There are a couple of bare bottom pictures which I thought added to the humor, for the younger set anyway, older kids might be a bit shocked.  The dramatic text and very expressive illustrations make this a great book for sharing individually or with a group. I highly recommend this one.


  1. Adorable. And I'm sure it appeals to kids' dramatic sides in making everyday life stuff more exciting. Let's hope it makes them eat their broccoli too. ;-P

    1. The older kids I read this to really enjoyed it. Some of them didn't quite know what to make of the over dramatization.

  2. I must get this one! I always try to make a big deal when Max does something ordinary, like eats breakfast without needing to change clothes afterwards ;)

    1. I giggled through the whole thing. I hope your son enjoys it as we'll. thanks for stopping by.

  3. This looks fantastic! I've just requested it from the library and am looking forward to reading it with my son. Thank you for the review!

  4. Hahahaha, the Potty of Doom! That's hilarious. I think my son would really like this book. This is right up his alley! :D


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