Somewhere in the Bayou

Norton. Mar. 2022. 56p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781324015932.
K-Gr 2–In a bold graphic style that uses big, flat shapes and a limited palette of gray, tan, brown, brick, and sage, four swamp creatures are beset with curiosity, and maybe even fear. A squirrel, mouse, rabbit, and weasel (or opossum, from the book jacket), in tersely worded speech bubbles that would not be out of place in Waiting for Godot, question the sight before them: “What should we do?/ We could just—/ Find another way?/ No. There’s only one way past a sneaky tail.” One by one, they are picked off by the tail, and in this soon-to-be-story-hour-hit, listeners will be on the edge of their seats. The survivor, the mouse, figures out why the tail is there, and helps a docile alligator get unstuck. The punch line is an uproarious gift from the Pumphreys, who could not lace more eccentric charm into this if they had 1000 more pages. It’s just right.
VERDICT To paraphrase another epic piece about hungry snapping jaws, you’re going to need a bigger story hour.

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