Punk Skunks

Trisha Speed Shaskan, illus. by Stephan Shaskan. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-236396-1

The hippest kids in the neighborhood, Kit and Buzz are BSFs (“best skunks forever”) and bandmates. A fight about their next song creates a massive rift, and each skunk swears never to rock out together again. Their playmates, a trio of rabbits, are shocked: in one scene, the bunnies stare at an empty, fading hopscotch court that Buzz had previously spray-painted (using his skunk sprayer, of course) like fans who believe the music has died. But the two skunks quickly discover that going solo is no fun, and while neither says “I’m sorry,” they realize they need to get the band back together. Stephen Shaskan’s (The Three Triceratops Tuff) cartooning has lots of energy and a 1960s rock poster palette. Trisha Speed Shaskan’s (the Other Side of the Story series) text is a little too earnest, and underneath the characters’ mildly outré hairdos, punk-rock wardrobes, and repeated exclamations of “Dig it!” and “Rock on!” lies a conventional story about the ebb and flow of a friendship. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. Illustrator’s agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (Feb.) [/em]