cover image How to Catch a Clover Thief

How to Catch a Clover Thief

Elise Parsley. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-53428-4

Roy, a warthog, has found the perfect clover patch—“The stems were tall. The leaves were large.” But Jarvis, a gopher, is running a long, bibliophilic con to get the patch all for himself. Every time Roy tries to shoo the eager gopher away, Jarvis offers Roy a book that distracts him: a clover cookbook that tickles his chef aspirations (he even dons a toque), a camping book so that he can stand guard comfortably (it unleashes his inner scout), and finally an aerospace engineering book so dense (“It was nothing but orbital inclination and nose cones”) that he conks out. Now the patch is eaten up “right down to the nubbins!”—but Roy is no longer the fool. With help from texts of his own choosing, he closes the books on his toothy nemesis. Parsley (Neck & Neck) channels the irreverent spirit of classic Warner Bros. cartoons in this battle of wills and books, with digital drawings framed and composed to land every comic beat. And while Roy spends much of the story fuming, sulking, or throwing a tantrum, he’s quite a lovable lug. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.) [/em]