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Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  446 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
From Michael Buckley, the bestselling author of the Sisters Grimm and NERDS series, and Dan Santat, author-illustrator of Sidekicks, comes this hilarious picture book starring Kel Gilligan (a.k.a. “The Boy Without Fear”) that encourages kids to laugh at their fears and celebrates the bravery it takes to try new things no matter how ordinary. Narrated by Kel himself as he a ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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There are some picture books created to commiserate with the parents, a post-baby shower gift for those toddler years, like Go the F*ck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. I haven’t read it as it was after my time and frankly I wasn’t interested. In Mansbach’s case he is looking only to commiserate with parents on the subject of bedtime frustrations. Laughter being cathartic and all. But some books can empathize and provide catharsis while still encouraging you to read it to your kids. Kel Gilligan is on ...more
Alethea A
Jun 23, 2012 Alethea A rated it it was amazing
LMAO. That is all!!!!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Jun 23, 2012 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, humor, 2012
I laughed out loud reading this one. Parents and kids will like it. And I love Dan's illustrations.
Jan 03, 2013 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Kel is a daredevil, willing to take on enormous challenges and risk his own safety! He took on the challenge of eating broccoli and survived without a scratch. He had the courage to face down “The Potty of Doom” though it did take longer than he expected. He even managed to get dressed by himself without a net. He has tested his underwater skills by taking a bath with only one assistant. And has even survived his mother being on the phone without interrupting, though it was close. When Kel faces ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
It would take a cold-hearted person not to laugh at least once during this hilarious picture book that rings true to childhood experiences. Young Kel Gilligan sees himself as the star of his own reality show, performing feats of daring such as eating broccoli, facing the Potty of Dome, and getting dressed all by himself. The text is hilarious as are the Adobe Photoshop illustrations. I loved how the book's creators took everyday events and turned them into challenges to be faced with courage bef ...more
Nov 08, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I laughed all the way through this book. Kel Gilligan's tough attitude as he faces common childhood challenges including broccoli, the Potty of Doom, a bath, and getting dressed is giggle-inducing. The way the author takes these seemingly simple activities and turns each into a stunt of giant proportions is very entertaining. I also like the way the illustrator made some of the illustrations seem as if they are being viewed through a video camera lens. There are a couple of bare bottom pictures ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Margie rated it it was amazing
When you think of a match made in heaven, look no further than this title written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by Dan Santat. These two have created one hilarious book in Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show. I've laughed out loud every single time I've read it; once, twice, three and four times now.
My full review is here:
Nov 28, 2012 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Age: Preschool+

Kel Gilligan takes on such astounding stunts as going on the potty, getting dressed, and waiting for mom to get off the phone. Big, bold graphics accompany these childhood feats. An action-packed celebration of first experiences.
Sep 04, 2012 Krista rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Hilarious! This book made me laugh outloud! I enjoyed the illustrations that accompanied the text. This book will be enjoyed by both kids and adults.
Michael Buckley AND Dan Santat? You had me at the cover. This hilarious book describes Kel Gilligan's bravery in confronting daily challenges like taking a bath and getting dressed by himself.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 06, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This entertaining story reminds me of my own Evel Knievel phase when I attempted such stunts as riding my tricycle down the basement stairs and into a wall of cinder blocks. Lots of fun.
Oct 27, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
So amazing. You just want to examine the illustrations forever. I love Santat's work. It's recognizable but not predictable. And I love the story!
Sep 10, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing
Awesome book for young ones!
Jessalyn King
Dec 22, 2016 Jessalyn King rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Alright, so we all know I love good illustrations, and Dan Santat did not disappoint. Michael Buckley (I definitely have read his older books) did a good job with the words as well. I love the thought of having an audience like that for all your kid stunts. 'Does he know no fear!?'
Margaret Chind

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama.Full of fun and funny, this is definitely a "boy" book, but I have no doubt my preschool daughter will be in fits of laughter when we read it. She is currently as well mastering the "daredevil" tasks from eating broccoli to sleeping in her own bed (and staying there). Part of the learning process is seeing other kids with similar experiences and I am sure reading and rereading this book will be fun and beneficial to her learning things on her own. Not v
Mary Ann
Dec 05, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
Kel Gilligan is a daredevil - brave enough to attempt awe-inspiring feats like eating broccoli, facing "the Potty of Doom," and taking a bath with only ONE assistant. Santat's illustrations heighten both the drama and the humor in Buckley's story. You can tell just by the cover how much kids are going to love this.

Our kindergartners thought the Potty of Doom was hilarious. They are just the right age to remember those little potties and know just what an achievement it is to master them. As the
May 18, 2014 Suz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
Such bravery! Such courage! Such feats of derring do! How can one small body hold so much intrepidity? He faces incredible dangers without flinching - broccoli, potty training, bathtime... Is there nothing he can't handle? Michael Buckley has created a hero as incredible as Evil Knievel, but in a preschooler's body. Dan Santat's illustrations show a tiny powerhouse of pure gumption who conquers one frightful obstacle after another, all with the audience of his admiring and amazed family.

Sep 11, 2013 Jess rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, z_13
I like the matter of face tone set from the start. The kid's young, but you'd (and he'd) swear he's been around the block. Lived the life, as it were.

And yeah, it's great to use a daredevil tone when talking about overcoming challenges when growing up. Eating broccoli, staying quiet when Mom's on the phone, dealing with monsters under the bed -- these are accomplishments.

Is it as great as all the rave reviews say? Eh. But I don't dig toilet humor in books. And Santat just had to throw in a bare
Feb 21, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
I thought the idea for book was interesting and I can see kids finding it amusing. Unfortunately, I wasn't spellbound by the book. The illustrations were graphic and fun, but it wasn't something that capture my attention and made me want to read it over and over again. It was pretty interesting to see what feat Kel would accomplish next, but overtime, I got a little bored. The people in the sidelines pushing him to do more and gasping in wonder and amazement were a little much at times, but I th ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Growing up is full of hurdles and kids love superheroes, so a super-toddler tackling independent-living challenges is a kid-friendly concept. But I think there is a disconnect between the level of complexity of the book and the age of children who are interested in potty training and dressing oneself. Vocabulary like "conversation" and "uninterrupted" combined with the volume of text and the use of irony make this book feel like it is not for toddlers. Also, the constantly gasping parents seem o ...more
Sep 07, 2012 Marika rated it liked it
Young Kel Gilligan is out to show the world that he can overcome terrifying obstacles like trying new foods, using the potty, and -horror of horrors- taking a bath. Kel Gilligan is not afraid of anything! Except, maybe, that monster under the bed... Dan Santat's illustrations capture the astonishment of Kel's family while posing Kel in dynamic superhero poses. A laugh out loud book for anyone who's had to face the obstacles of childhood, Kel Gilligan will have the whole family gearing up for the ...more
Niki (Daydream Reader)
The students were laughing so loud at this book....and in between the laughter I managed to sneak in a lesson about making predictions, background knowledge and inferences. ;) We made predictions about what stunt Kel Gilligan would perform next based on the clues the author gave us about the character and his age. All hands went up to read the book next after I was finished reading it aloud. :) I am also so excited about my shirt from Mr. Schu!!! And a huge thank you to Michael Buckley....I was ...more
Aug 30, 2013 Shelli rated it it was amazing
Michael Buckley’s picture book debut did not disappoint. Teaming up with the phenomenally talented illustrator Dan Santat, they created a fantastically fun read-aloud for all ages.

Ken Gilligan is a fearless young stunt devil! Watch him perform such death defying feats as eating revolting broccoli! Using the potty! Resisting the urge to interrupt his mother’s phone conversation! Along with many other equally shocking stunts.

Kids will love it and want to read it again and again. This is a perfec
Amanda Northrup
Jul 01, 2016 Amanda Northrup rated it liked it
A toddler faces his fears - putting on his own clothes, taking a bath, occupying himself while mom is on the phone. I was loving this book, until the scene about monsters under that bed. In the book, the dad looks under the bed for monsters, a common approach by parents. I've been reading a lot about helping a kid overcome fears, and the universal advice from the experts is that when a parent looks under the bed to prove that there are no monsters, it actually makes the fear worse. If there are ...more
Aug 23, 2013 D'Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
My four-year-old son loves this book. I initially found it in a library, pulling it off the shelf at random the very day we'd been discussing stunt men and women. We read it at the library and Gavin laughed and laughed. This book totally cracked him up. Later that day we went to a bookstore (The Book Table in Chicago, actually. I highly recommend it) and bought it. We've read it so many times that he basically has it memorized. And we never get tired of saying, "The potty of DOOM!" Cracks both o ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Maddypictures rated it really liked it
Kel Gilligan daringly, shockingly, amazingly tackles what many kids might find impossible: eating broccoli, using the potty, taking a bath, not interrupting his mother on the phone, and almost manages getting to bed as well. Astonishing! The illustrations in this book were made with "Adobe Photoshop and with 100% fearlessness." Dan Santat's slightly squared off illustrations are expressive with lots of boy appeal. There are fun little details like crayon scribbles on the walls of the family's ho ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Tami rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Kel Gilligan's stunts are those which challenge so many kids in their everyday life: eating broccoli, etc.

Michael Buckley's brilliant appeal with older readers in his Nerds and Sisters Grimm series is wildly present in his picture book debut for younger readers.

Dan Santat's always vibrant illustrations are delightful in that joyful way that just bubbles up from your center.

This first foray by Buckley and Santat into picture books is a resounding success. I hope t
The Library Lady
Sep 25, 2012 The Library Lady rated it it was ok
Okay, I guess I am the "cold hearted" person one reviewer said you must be if you didn't laugh at this, because I didn't. I've seen this done before and with much more attractive artwork. And a kid big enough to be turning things into a daredevil stunt show should've been potty trained and dressing himself a while ago....
Save your money and buy the "Dinosaur vs" series instead.
Oh, and my girls LIKE broccoli. Love it in fact.
Dec 03, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
I wish I'd had this book for all the times my son was afraid to try things out go places, but it still fit the message across to him in a fun way.
Sep 05, 2016 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
So cute! Parents will not mind reading this one over and over again!
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New York Times bestselling author Michael Buckley was born in Akron, Ohio. He tried his hand as a stand-up comic and lead singer for a punk rock back before attending Ohio University. After graduating with honors he moved to New York City to be an intern on the Late Show with David Letterman which led to stints developing programming for Discovery Networks, MTV, MTV Animation and Klasky Csupo (pro ...more
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