Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis,
illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
Review Copy from Chronicle Books
Ta-Da! begins, "Once upon a time, a girl lived in a crystal castle on a hill. She had lots of animal friends and was very happy." But, "DUN DUN DUH!" A boy and his dog (a wizard and a dragon) arrive and an imagination filled day fueled by fantastical adventures is underway. "Ta-Da!" and "DUN DUN DUH!" take turns throughout the book, as the story moves from sailing into the sunset to being taken prisoner by a pirate. An island vacation becomes a fiery sneeze. Fortunately, the girl had, "trained in flamethrowing her whole life," and was able to avert disaster - even when the dragon drank so much water he had to go to the bathroom. The girl makes a dragon-sized toilet with magical toilet paper that never runs out!
The two join forces to put on a magic show then head to the kitchen for snack time, the one-upmanship of earlier replaced with collaborative play. The day ends with a trip to the Lost City of Atlantis, spilled hot cocoa and combined magical powers that make for a happy ending. Davis's story has just the right amount of ups and downs, while Juanita's superb illustrations perfectly balance the real life of the play date, from the blocks, tea sets, stuffed animals and fairy lights, with the magic of boundless imagination.
A very fun read that is sure to inspire even more fun play!