Raccoon Wants to Be First

Susanna Isern, trans. from the Spanish by Robin Sinclair, illus. by Leire Salaberria. NubeOcho (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-84-943691-7-9
In a story originally published in Spain, Isern (What Are You Scared of, Little Mouse?) and newcomer Salaberria introduce a raccoon who has grown accustomed to being the first and best at everything. Whether it’s locating four-leaf clovers, finding shapes in the clouds, or being “the fastest, slipperiest animal in the forest,” Raccoon revels in his #1 status until a fox shows up with stories of daring exploits and a knack for besting Raccoon at various physical feats. Raccoon sulks for a while until he learns the benefits of appreciating his surroundings during a mountain-climbing trip with Duck. Working in what looks to be colored pencil, Salaberria’s inviting and distinctive illustrations have a gently textured, almost quilted look, and she dresses her big-eyed animal cast in dapper sweaters and pants, accessorized with roller skates, backpacks, and knit caps. The translation, though, is less successful, sounding fairly robotic at times (“One day, a foreign fox arrives in the forest and quickly becomes friends with the animals of his age”) and switching almost at random between past and present tense. Ages 4–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-84-943691-5-5
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