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June 30, 2015

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Pick of the Day: Weasels

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WeaselsDolan, Elys. Weasels. illus. by Elys Dolan. 32p. Candlewick. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763671006. LC 2013943084.
Gr 1-4–While most people carelessly assume that weasels are munching nuts and berries in the woods, they may be overlooking the vast hi-tech headquarters from which the creatures are plotting world domination. Dolan is the author/illustrator who’s reporting the story here. With generous visual detail, she unveils the numerous characters, situations, and machinery involved in the conspiracy. Dozens of subplots and personalities crowd the pages. Patient readers will enjoy the monocled, Mao-jacketed, mouse-carrying leader; the robots and mad scientists; the enthusiast who insists, “I’m entirely confident that this huge drill will fix everything”; and the white-furred, blue-scarved weasel who brings around the coffee (weasels LOVE their coffee) and who unwittingly ruins, then revives, the evil scheme. Children who prefer a fast-moving plot or individual character development may find Dolan’s book challenging. Those who take the time to explore the riot of sardonic cartoonery will be well rewarded.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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