Dewey Bob

Judy Schachner. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4120-1

All grown up and newly out on his own, a hayseed raccoon named Dewey Bob Crockett sets out to build a life around his instincts for collecting and hoarding things. But even though Dewey Bob loves the thrill of the hunt—the sorting, the cleaning, and the turning of odds and ends into useful or fanciful contraptions (one of which fills a vertical gatefold)— he is lonely. Why not try to collect friends like he collects buttons? Reflecting, perhaps, the hodgepodge that is Dewey Bob’s natural element, Schachner’s (the Skippyjon Jones series) longwinded story is a jumble of voices and art styles. She drops her gs (albeit inconsistently), sprinkles her text with countrified turns of phrase (“I’m as clean as the beans are green!”), and liberally uses word bubbles to convey dialogue, poems, and songs that comment on the action, all to dizzying, distracting effect. Her artwork is more successful: with his tiny, earnest eyes, and huge head, Dewey is downright adorable, and Schachner’s skillful layering of watercolor and pencil textures with photo collage gives the story a homespun, scrapbooked feel. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
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