High Five

Dial. Apr. 2019. 64p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780525428893.
PreS-Gr 2–The 75th Annual High Five Tournament approaches, and Sensei (a large Yeti-like creature) is looking for a new student to train for the competition. There’s much to practice and more to learn, from stretching to education on various high five methods. When the big day arrives, one competitor after another takes on, and is defeated by, the kid, until the final round against Octopus Jones. After an amazing eight-handed high five, the kid emerges victorious, taking home the High Five Tournament trophy. An interesting concept will elicit giggles and enthusiasm from readers, and neon colored pencil illustrations, reminiscent of 80s spandex suits, fill pages with vibrancy and energy. The text itself holds the story back—inconsistent or forced rhyme and uneven flow make this a difficult read-aloud, and the book’s length will likely lose readers’ interest before the final pages. This humorous play on a silly competition with sports-movie-montage storytelling is a witty idea, but doesn’t quite deliver.
VERDICT An additional purchase for collections short on picture books for older readers.

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