‘I bet I can drink it!’ says Danny McGee looking at the sea; and he does. But that is not the end – far from it, as Danny sets out to swallow anything and everything.
Readers will be familiar with the Old Lady who having swallowed a fly continues to swallow creatures ever bigger until she bursts; many may recall the frisson that greeted the arrival of Angry Arthur. Danny is very much in this tradition, and the awful expectation of a dramatic ending is all part of the fun; because nothing is quite certain. After all the whole situation is absurd. But Andy Stanton is a master of the absurd, his cheerful rhyming text takes the reader – eyes growing ever wider – through an escalating list of things Danny swallows. Even these are absurd ranging from pies and peas to the weather girl off the TV (not it seems the TV!). Of course, it doesn’t stop there and Danny is eventually left on a blank page, alone – or is he? The denouement is unsettling, satisfying and very funny. Neal Layton’s illustrations capture the anarchic spirit of Danny’s escapade as they fizz with energy and irrepressible spirit. The details are infectious from the horrified look on the face of the Statue of Liberty to the enormous straw that is the start of it all. This is a picture book to delight readers young – and old, and deserves to become a staple of storytime, whether in the classroom or at bedtime.