Fred & the Lumberjack

Steven Weinberg. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2983-2
A winsome beaver and an accomplished lumberjack form a mutual admiration society in Weinberg’s exuberant tale about building friendships. Fred, the beaver, has clearly invested a lot of time, effort, and craftsmanship into his “perfect dream den,” which is cozily appointed with carefully gnawed logs that form a table, shelves, bunk beds, and even a video game system. But something’s missing, and Fred “can’t sink his teeth into” what it might be. As he puzzles out potential improvements, a roaring noise draws him into the forest, where he spies the work of a female lumberjack with noteworthy chainsaw skills. Although Fred’s efforts to impress her go awry, the pair discovers a shared passion for woodworking (and flannel), joining forces to dream up creative renovations for a shared den. Blending traditional and digital media, Weinberg (Rex Finds an Egg! Egg! Egg!) uses boldly crawled lines and blasts of color to set a scene that’s simultaneously bucolic and chaotic, and his bubble-eyed characters and their outsize emotions and movements add further oomph to an already energetic story. Ages 4–8. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/24/2017
Release date: 09/12/2017
Genre: Children's
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