FICTION

Pardon Me!

Pardon Me! 40p. S. & S. Jun. 2014. ebk. ISBN 9781442489981; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442489974. LC 2013006081.
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PreS-Gr 2—A little yellow bird dozing on a comfortable perch in the swamp is disturbed in succession by a heron, a frog, and then a turtle, who all wish to share his spot. With each animal's arrival, the bird's response to the polite "pardon me" offered gets testier and testier ("Well, I suppose I can't stop you." and "It's crowded already, don't you think?"). Despite the bird's lack of graciousness, the four share the perch until a fox shows up on a nearby log. His "pardon me" is the last straw for the bird, who exclaims, "Well, pardon me, but this is my perch and I don't care what you have to say!" After his outburst, the heron, frog, turtle, and even the fox leave him alone. Dozing off once again the little bird is alerted to something amiss only when his perch moves. The surprise ending, for both the story and the bird, is extremely satisfying, and the last "pardon me" will have readers laughing out loud. The full-page, digitally rendered, mixed-media illustrations are richly colored and work beautifully with the spare text to tell and enhance the story. The little bird's expressions, ranging from contentment to alarm, are subtle and entertaining. A fabulous choice for storytime; pair it with Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back (Candlewick, 2011 ) for surefire laughs and cries to "read it again, please."—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY

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