Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads, written by Bob Shea and illustrated by Lane Smith, is a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

The town of Drywater Gulch has a bit of a problem with a gang known as the Terrible Toads. What they need is a sheriff. And that’s just what they get. A kid sheriff rides into town–slowly–on his tortoise. Now, this sheriff doesn’t seem to know much about the Toads, but he knows an awful lot about dinosaurs. How can that possibly help the town, though?

As it turns out, this sheriff’s knowledge of dinosaurs may help to catch the Toads and rid the town of these pests for good. How, you ask? Read Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads to find out!


Reading this through the eyes of an adult is very different from reading it as a kid, I imagine. While the book is funny, I think a lot of the humor may go over the heads of most young readers. They may like how the kid uses his knowledge of dinosaurs to fight crime, but I doubt they’d see the understated humor in the book’s situations and dialogue.

I don’t think this book would be my pick for a K5 or 1st grade storytime. Not only wouldn’t my younger readers understand some of the humor, but it’s just a tad uncomfortable having to explain to students why a gang of outlaws might be kissing cattle. (Honestly, I’m not sure why they would be, and I really don’t want to have that conversation with my kiddos.) If students want to take this book home to read with their parents or by themselves, that’s fine, but I will not be handling cattle-kissing questions on my story carpet.

If you’d like to promote this book in your classroom or library, feel free to use the book trailer below.

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