From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This funny picture book features a child who just loves danger. Readers who don't know Kel Gilligan are clearly unaware of his daring feats that have earned him the nickname "The Boy Without Fear." He earnestly recollects his past triumphs in pictures designed to look like freeze frames of his life with great comical effect. The stunned faces on the "audience" as Kel successfully chews and swallows broccoli are hilarious, and their comments will inspire many giggles. Those shy of potty humor may not enjoy the image of Kel's bare bottom and the applause after he successfully vanquishes a toilet, but, let's be honest; the intended audience will be rolling on the floor laughing at these silly antics. After Kel's strenuous day of derring-do, readers see that he is just like many children when it comes to the biggest obstacle of all-sleeping in his own bed. Santat's illustrations, created in Photoshop, are busy, grandiose, loud, and proud, just like Kel Gilligan. They add depth and humor to the action.-Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kel Gilligan is one tough little dude. They call him “the boy without fear.” His “super scary stunts“ include everything from eating broccoli to using the potty, dressing himself, taking a bath, not interrupting his mother while she talks on the phone, and going to bed without first checking the room for monsters. This last “stunt” doesn’t go well and Kel ends up in bed with his parents, but saves face by declaring that he is there to protect them. Santat’s lively comic illustrations depict Kel outfitted in a crash helmet and caped daredevil costume narrating each of his death-defying acts for a spellbound audience (i.e., his family). The author and illustrator roll out all the stops to keep things crazed. For example,a video-camera display to capture the endurance test of the potty. Some illustrations simulate a video-camera display to heighten the dramatics, while the family gasps in awe: “He knows no fear!” A fantasy romp destined to please preschoolers and parents alike who are faced with getting through the day-to-day tasks that at times feel insurmountable. Preschool-Grade 2. --Randall Enos