Appleblossom the Possum

Holly Goldberg Sloan, illus. by Gary A. Rosen. Dial, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4133-1
Appleblossom, a small and brave possum, and her 12 siblings learn from their Mama Possum that the world is a stage and that acting is necessary for survival, especially against the various “monsters” (cars, people, pets) that threaten. Ever the explorer, Appleblossom gets stuck inside a small “monster’s” house, complete with a dog and disgusted parents; brothers Antonio and Amlet try to mount a rescue effort while Appleblossom takes on the role of plaything. Sloan (Counting by 7s) divides the story between Appleblossom’s shrewd thinking in the house and her brothers’ search for help in the form of a bedraggled possum named Big Poss, who turns out to be an extraordinary actor. Rosen’s pink-tinged images (not all seen by PW) bring a playfulness to many of the scenes. Amid the homey message that family matters most, Sloan seeds the story with assorted possum facts and vocabulary lessons, but it’s the possum-as-actor metaphor (“Playing dead is one thing. But smelling dead is another. It adds a whole other layer to a possum performance”) that generates the most fun. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/11/2015
Release date: 08/11/2015
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-101-89235-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-0437-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-751280-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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