McToad Mows Tiny Island


  • McToad Mows Tiny Island
  • written by Tom Angleberger
  • illustrated by John Hendrix
  • published by Abrams Books for Young Readers (2015)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Tom Angleberger is kind of big deal in this house. As the author of the Origami Yoda series, his books (well, the audiobook versions of them) are on an endless loop in my daughter’s bedroom.

It was therefore with great excitement that I caught up with him at this year’s Book Expo America and grabbed a copy of his new picture book, McToad Mows Tiny Island.

It’s a picture book, so it’s certainly shorter than something like Origami Yoda, but it still delivers the goods…big time. The story is simply dripping with Angleberger’s humor, and the illustrations by John Hendrix are a perfect match for the story.

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In brief, McToad is a groundskeeper who lives on Big Island. Every day except Thursday, he mows the grass on Big Island. Thursday? Well, that’s when he makes the trek to Tiny Island.

And what a trek it is.

In order to get there, McToad requires nearly every type of transportation imaginable (well, okay, maybe not submarine): truck, train, forklift, baggage buggy, airplane, helicopter, boat, and crane.


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As I said, the story is incredibly witty, but it’s a subdued humor. Angleberger doesn’t drop in one-liners and laugh-out-loud jokes. Rather, the absurdity of the plot and of McToad himself provide all the humor the reader needs.

And Hendrix’s art? It fills every square inch of page space, incorporates the text, and is filled with amazing details (including some origami Easter eggs!). McToad never speaks a word, but I desperately want to see more of him.

Highly recommended!


Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.