Stop, Thief!

Stop, Thief! illus. by Pierre Pratt. 32p. Kids Can. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771380126.
PreS-Gr 1—A farmer enlists the help of his pugnacious pooch, Max, to find out who is stealing all his carrots, berries, beans, and cherries. Max immediately spots a blue bug munching on carrot leaves and jumps to the conclusion that the pesky thief has been found. A nearby rabbit (carrot in mouth) offers support and cheers Max on as the bug bolts and dog zigzags through the various crops in hot pursuit. Along the way, he meets other barnyard animals (all with suspicious tell-tale crop remnants) who display wide-eyed innocence and promise to guard the food while sending Max scurrying on. When Max barks the bug off the farm, his animal friends decide to throw him a party and serve him the food they were guarding. But in the end, they can't resist saving the pile of good eats from the thief by eating it themselves. The full-color gouache art has a breezy immediacy that gives a sense of palpable movement as the dog dashes and the animals munch. The drama sprawls across the wide-ranging farm in a sea of blue skies and green growing plants. Readers will spot the culprits long before Max does in this fast-paced escapade.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Charged with catching the thief who has been stealing all the farmer's "carrots, berries, beans and cherries," Max the dog suspects a tiny blue bug and overlooks the obvious culprits: a rabbit, a pig, a goat, and some crows. The text is overlong and somewhat belabored, but the story plays out nicely in impressionistic gouache illustrations on saturated double-page spreads.

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