New in Town

Farrar. Sept. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374306090.
K-Gr 2–The people of Puddletrunk are being swindled out of their money and jewels by a shady resident named Mortimer Gulch. Speaking as an expert in bridge-building, Gulch convinces them termites have destroyed their beloved bridge for the 273rd time. When a traveling clock repairman offers free work on the clock tower in exchange for his share of the donation for the repair of the bridge, Mortimer lets slip his “toothy” true identity. By morning, a secure and cost efficient bridge is built, and the people of Puddletrunk can celebrate the real hero in town. Cornell’s (Go to Sleep, Monster) illustrations contain fantastical teetering structures set atop a tall cliff, and whimsical characters who have adapted to living in isolation surrounded by the clouds in the sky.
VERDICT This will capture young readers’ hearts and imaginations with its messages of open-mindedness and creativity when it comes to inviting new ideas and people into one’s life.–

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