Adam Wallace (text) and James Hart (Illustrator), Cowboy and Birdbrain: P.O.O.P. of Doom, Scholastic Australia, August 2019, 192pp., RRP $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760661595
Cowboy and Birdbrain, the offspring of creative team Adam Wallace and James Hart, are at it again. They’re best friends who deliver Parcels or Other Packages (P.O.O.P.) for an offbeat delivery company known for their F.A.R.T.S. (Fast and Reliable Tracking Services). Their mission: to deliver a precious package to a hermit whose elaborate security system is designed to keep people out. Deliver the package without breakage, the boss warns Cowboy and Birdbrain, or you’re ‘doomed, finished, kaput’ – a much needed mantra for the courier service that deposited a framed watercolour painting covered in glass shards to my front door yesterday.
I doubt I’m going out on a limb when I say most kids, especially boys, will warm to the toilet humour rife in this second book of the series:
‘Give me your POOP,’ Charles screamed. ‘Now!’
Cowboy yanked the POOP out of Charles’s hands. ‘No!’
Cue raucous laughter.
James Hart’s clever and engaging illustrations add a layer of depth and irony to the text for an easy, entertaining read. If this isn’t already a TV cartoon series, I predict it will be soon. The Wallace-Hart duo clearly have their finger on the marketing pulse and readership.
Kids love a good series and this zany, action-packed adventure will keep them laughing and, more importantly reading. My eldest, now 21 years old, rejected nearly any book placed in his hands; Yu-gi-oh! cards were his early readers. Unorthodox perhaps, but we encouraged the routine, keen for him to read something that engaged him and kept him wanting more. That’s the beauty of children’s books today – there’s something for everyone.
Reviewed by Maura Pierlot