cover image Confiscated


Suzanne Kaufman. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-241086-3

In this lively story from Kaufman (Samanthasaurus Rex), two dinosaur brothers fight over their toys, which prompts their mother to take each item away: “They fought over the bike. Confiscated! They fought over Grandpa’s tuba. Confiscated!” After all of their possessions wind up padlocked in a wardrobe (not even the family dog is safe), Mikey and Brooks quickly become bored. With “nothing left to do but talk to each other,” the boys reminisce about the times they played together and cooperated, which leads them to team up to free a sequestered balloon from the wardrobe—and create a big mess in the process. Kaufman’s colloquial tone (“But then... they got busted!”) and use of “Confiscated!” to punctuate her text should make for fun readalouds, and her brightly colored digital illustrations, set against blank white backgrounds, keep the focus on the boys and their toys. It’s a relatable, if predictable and easily resolved, story of sibling conflict, and its message about the benefits of cooperation comes through loud and clear. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. (Aug.) [/em]