Kennedy, Doug 1963-
Kennedy, Doug 1963-
Born November 28, 1963, in West Monroe, LA; son of I.G. (a physician) and Carole (an artist) Kennedy. Education: Attended Louisiana Tech University. Religion: Methodist.
Kim Kennedy, Napoleon, Viking (New York, NY), 1995.
Kim Kennedy, Mr. Bumble, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.
Kim Kennedy, Mr. Bumble Buzzes through the Year, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1998.
Kim Kennedy, Frankenfrog, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1999.
Robert D. San Souci, Six Foolish Fishermen, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2000.
Kim Kennedy, Pirate Pete: "Where There's Gold I'm a Goin'," Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2002.
Kim Kennedy, Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2006.
Kim Kennedy, Pirate Pete: Talk like a Pirate!, Harry Abrams (New York, NY), 2007.
Together with writer Kim Kennedy, artist and illustrator Doug Kennedy is one half of the creative brother-and-sister partnership that has produced a number of entertaining picture books. Louisiana natives, the Kennedy siblings began their career in children's books with Napoleon, in which a small white dog is faced with the dilemma of how to occupy himself on a rainy day. Going to the attic, the pudgy pup finds collected treasures to explore, old clothes to try on, and bubbles to blow. Eventually, Napoleon settles into a nap, allowing the rhythm of the rain to lull him to sleep. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that Kim Kennedy's technique of stretching single sentences over several pages enhances the story's suspense and hailed Napoleon as "an unusual and arresting debut." Similarly, Booklist critic Michael Cart praised the tale's "minimalist pictures" and deemed the book "cutting-edge" withing its genre and age group.
Mr. Bumble and Mr. Bumble Buzzes through the Year, feature a bee character. Mr. Bumble is the story of a bumble bee who is the clumsiest and most fearful in his hive. The bucket with which he attempts to collect honey for his queen has never been filled. Even worse, it is scarred by dents incurred in the clumsy bee's various misadventures. When the queen bee announces the discovery of an especially bountiful clover field, Mr. Bumble goes forth despite his fear and feelings of inadequacy. In the midst of a spectacular display of clumsiness, he is rescued by a group of friendly fairies who give him a crash course in flying skills and help him return triumphantly to his queen with his bucket overflowing. Although Dawn Amsberry, writing in School Library Journal, cautioned that the bee's speedy "transformation from clumsy to graceful … may leave young readers wondering why they can't overcome their own problems" with the same ease, a Kirkus Reviews writer applauded Mr. Bumble as "a winning dweeb with pluck and heart enough to inspire readers." A Horn Book reviewer commented on Doug Kennedy's "droll figures of bees and fairies," and a critic for the New York Times Book Review cited Mr. Bumble for its "very pretty illustrations."
In Frankenfrog a mad scientist named Dr. Franken concocts a potion designed to "hyper-size" lollipops. Unfortunately, the tonic also spawns a multitude of oversized flies, which the doctor zaps with Frankenfrog, his gigantic amphibious creation. While School Library Journal critic Christine A. Moesch found the text to be
"forced and self-consciously adolescent," a critic for the Children's Book Review Service praised the story for its "lively text and humorous illustrations." A Horn Book reviewer noted that while some of Kim Kennedy's "puns feel forced," the book's "illustrations add amusing details."
In the Kennedys' "Pirate Pete" series the brother-and-sister team introduce a roly poly, peg-legged, red-bearded pirate who behaves in typical pirate fashion. Pirate Pete: "Where There's Gold I'm a Goin'" finds Pirate Pete and his trusty parrot sail the seas in search of gold and booty after pilfering a treasure map from the queen. On course for Mermaid Island and the spot marked with a large "X," the pirate stops to scout for gold on other islands along the way, ultimately bringing aboard trouble in the form of a small but testy fire-breathing dragon. Describing Pirate Pete: "Where There's Gold I'm a Goin'" as "inventive," Booklist contributor Julie Cummins had special praise for Doug Kennedy's "appealing, richly colored, cartoonlike paintings," which were based on clay models created especially for the purpose.
Readers meet up with Pete again in Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure, as the portly swashbuckler sits, stranded, in a rowboat off the coast of Mermaid Island. His wish for a ship is answered in a roundabout way when a genie agrees to provide a pirate ship if Pete is able to locate a magic sapphire that has been lost by the sea fairies. This seemingly simple task holds significant challenges, however, when Pirate Pete learns that the jewel is in the possession of a very large, very angry, giant. Pete has earned his ship in Pirate Pete: Talk like a Pirate!, but now the task is to sail to Rascal Island and locate shipmates able to walk the pirate walk and talk the pirate talk, such as a hearty "aaaargh!" or "shiver me timbers." According to Booklist contributor Gillian Eng- berg, "the silly adventure" combines with "rhymes, … repetitive songs, and Pete's salty-dog dialogue" to make Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure "a natural for reading aloud." Praising the "cartoon pictures," a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded of the same book that the Kennedys' "follow-up to Pirate Pete … should keep young mateys anchored to their seats."
In addition to collaborating with his sister, Doug Kennedy has also provided illustrations for Robert D. San Souci's Six Foolish Fishermen, which adapts a variety of international tales to a Louisiana bayou setting. Noting that San Souci's story features humor and a Cajun flair, Donna L. Scanlon concluded in her School Library Journal review of Six Foolish Fishermen that "Kennedy's exuberant, cartoonlike acrylic paintings are packed with nifty details."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, May 15, 2000, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Six Foolish Fishermen, p. 1759; June 1, 2002, Julie Cummins, review of Pirate Pete: "Where There's Gold I'm a Goin'," p. 1740; June 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure, p. 84.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1999, Janice M. Del Negro, review of Frankenfrog, p. 57.
Children's Book Review Service, August, 1999, review of Frankenfrog, p. 160.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2000, review of Six Foolish Fishermen, p. 639; July 1, 2006, review of Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure, p. 678.
Publishers Weekly, October 2, 1995, review of Napoleon, p. 73; August 11, 1997, review of Mr. Bumble, p. 401; August 2, 1999, review of Frankenfrog, p. 83.
School Library Journal, February, 1996, Virginia Opocensky, review of Napoleon, p. 86; September, 1997, Dawn Amsberry, review of Mr. Bumble, p. 184; August, 1999, Christine A. Moesch, review of Frankenfrog, p. 138; July, 2000, Donna L. Scanlon, review of Six Foolish Fishermen, p. 97.
Doug and Kim Kennedy Home Page,http://petesadventures.com (May 15, 2008).