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The Whoosh of Gadoosh
by Pat Skene, illustrated by Doug Keith
ages 4-8 32 pages Illumination Arts May 2002 Hardcover    

Children have wonderful imaginations and it’s always nice to see books that foster that imagination and help it grow. Pat Skene’s The Whoosh of Gadoosh is one of those books. It tells the story of the purple-haired lady that the kids call Gadoosh because of her magic that makes kids go ‘whoosh’. When the kids come play with her in the park, she gives them buttons that say ‘Press Here to Start’ and helps them whoosh through the air. Her magic also makes them sneeze out crazy things like orangutans and pigs in tutus.

When it’s time for the kids to go to school, they don’t want to leave Gadoosh, so they take her with them, much to the chagrin of their teacher, Miss Pitts. Will Miss Pitts let Gadoosh stay or will the kids have to find another home for their magical friend?

The idea of a magical friend that plays with kids is a cute one, though parents might worry that it will make their children less wary of strangers (especially since Gadoosh looks like a crazy homeless person). The story is told in a very sing-songy rhyming verse that may appeal to younger readers, but may be a little too simplistic for older children (and will probably grate on parents’ nerves). The best parts of the book are the interesting and eye-catching illustrations by Doug Keith. Children will love the busy pictures that show the children enjoying the magic of Gadoosh.

Although the rhyming style is a little annoying and the message (crazy strangers are FUN!) may not be completely appealing to parents, children will probably like the imaginative story and lively illustrations. As long as parents take the time to talk to their kids about the subject matter, The Whoosh of Gadoosh should be enjoyable for a wide range of ages and reading levels.

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  Angela McQuay/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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