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Danny McGee Drinks The Sea by Andy Stanton, with illustrations by Neal Layton was sent to me by the Amazon Vine review programme in exchange for my honest review.

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Long term readers know that I LOVE Andy Stanton, and my only disappointment with this is that it isn’t more Mr. Gum. Frankly, the world needs more Mr. Gum. However, this is pretty good too, and perfect for Early Years readers who are not quite ready for the madness that is Mr. Gum.

Neal Layton is a brilliant illustrator and picture book author in his own right, and really these two people together are a winning combination. Layton’s illustrations are alive with colour and energy and perfectly capture the madcap fun of the story by Stanton.

Danny McGee takes on the challenge laid down by his sister Frannie, to drink the sea, but he just can’t seem to stop there. Hooked on the power of sucking the whole sea into his belly, much like the Old Woman who Swallowed A Fly, he goes nuts for eating everything and anything in his path. Although there is a wonderful twist in the tale that I won’t spoil for you here.

It’s a rhyming story, which, as regular readers will also know, is not my favourite thing in the world, but it works beautifully in this context and small children do seem to lap up the rhymes. It’s not too twee and at times there’s a slight Dr. Seuss element that lifts it out of the usual, syrupy rhyming fare.

It’s funny, exuberant and silly. Destined to be a picture book classic.

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