cover image Whitefish Will Rides Again!

Whitefish Will Rides Again!

Arthur Yorinks. Di Capua, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-205037-3

Yorinks, author of the Caldecott-winning Hey, Al , and veteran Mad magazine illustrator Drucker (who here makes his children's book debut) are just the right fellas to relate this rollicking tale set in the Wild West. The book opens with three mighty tall (the type is 214 high) words: ``WHO'S WHITEFISH WILL?'' The answer, set in ordinary-size type: ``Why, he's just about the best danged sheriff that ever lived. That's who.'' That pretty much sets the tone for the folksy-tongued narrator's tale, which uncoils as smoothly as a rodeo rope. Sure-firing Will has proven ``so good at rassling rustlers that soon there were no more rustlers left to rassle.'' So he is put out to pasture, left to raise roosters and blow on his harmonica (his ``stinkweed serenades'' sound ``worse than a bobcat caught on a cactus''). But what happens when bad Bart (who was ``so mean rattlesnakes would line up and try to kiss his feet'') and his gang ride into town and threaten to burn the place down? The townsfolk go fetch Will, of course, who runs the varmint out of town--by playing his harmonica (`` ` Ay yi yi yi yi! ' Bart cried, `Have mercy!' ''). And the West is safe for honest (earplug-wearing) folks once again. Drucker's droll, hyperbolic art--featuring a passel of comical cowboy caricatures--is smack on target. No question 'bout it: kids gonna love this one. All ages. (Sept.)