Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo

Illustrated by Joy Ang

Clarion Books

Petey is in the mood for some peace and quiet. But Pru is feeling tricksy. One good prank deserves another, but when the cats start wailing and the plants go flying, who do you suppose will come out on top?

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★ “Quiet Petey and his devil spawn of a best friend indulge in a little chaos propelled by gleefully sesquipedalian writing. At every opportunity, Paquette works in a word or phrase that might be unfamiliar to her readership; these are helpfully set in bold type. Highlighted words include everything from ‘higgledy-piggledy’ and ‘peeved’ to ‘mayhem’ and the fabulous ‘defenestration.’ Rather than come off as jarring, these words blend seamlessly with the plot, aided in no small part by Ang’s pitch-perfect digital art.”—Kirkus, starred review (stared review)

“If you’re not familiar with ’sesquipedalian,’ this marvelous picture book can enlighten you. Petey and Pru are squabbling children, who get into cacophonous clashes as the scale of their antics increase. Five-dollar-words are coupled with hilarious illustrations that provide a rollicking, delightful read. The book is so delightful and joyous in its celebration of words (and the squirrely shenanigans of sibling rivalry) that it will have kids begging for re-reads.” –CBC’s Early Career Committee Weekly Pick 

“The story includes more than 20 fun words like ‘shenanigans’ and ‘defenestration’ set in bold type; their definitions are on the endpapers. The digital illustrations are bursting with vibrant color and exaggerated clashes. … Should garner some good discussion.” –School Library Journal

“I may have included this book just because it contains the word ‘defenestration’ which isn’t something you find in children’s books every day.   It also has all sorts of other unexpected words, like cacophony, mayhem, hornswoggled, and serendipity.  The perfect way to introduce bigger words to your littlest kids, which is great if you’re feeling tricksy.” –Huffington Post

“This rollicking tale of Petey, who just wants to garden in the greenhouse, and mischievous Pru, who is feeling ‘tricksy,’ introduces a host of fun new words, like cacophony, mayhem and brouhaha, all of which are defined on the end papers. When is the last time you read a children’s book — or, really, any book — that used the word ‘defenestration’?” –The Courier-Journal

“This beautifully illustrated story about the true meaning of friendship is packed with excitement and near disaster as well as vocabulary-expanding words that are fun to say and thrilling to master.” –Fiction DB

“Hullabaloo to ballyhoo, this book of mischief includes oodles of enriched vocabulary words that seem nonsensical but are in fact real, as evidenced by the definitions included in the end pages.” –Metro Parent Magazine

“Have you ever had a word that you love to say? There are so many great words in the English language yet we often don’t expose our kids to them. Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo is a fun story about two kids, tranquil Petey and tricksy Pru. Kids will love the story but they’ll enjoy the language more, like cacophony and skedaddle.” –Everything Mom website

Fun Stuff!

Teachers and parents: Click here for great tips on using this book in the classroom to model word choice, and use context clues to determine word meaning! (Along with printable worksheet pages!)