cover image Who Wet My Pants?

Who Wet My Pants?

Bob Shea, illus. by Zachariah Ohora. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-52521-3

The animal scout troop is gathered around the campfire, and Reuben, a bear, is just about to hand out donuts when everyone notices a crescent-shaped wet patch at the crotch of his pants. The bear immediately and improbably deflects the blame: “Who wet my pants?” he shouts, and he begins accusing his friends of doing the deed. But the other scouts, who include a yeti, a turtle, and a hippo, don’t rise to the bait; in fact, they’re models of discretion and understanding. “Don’t worry about it, Reuben,” a dog scout says. “It could happen to anyone.” Reuben never does own up (a funny flashback explains the accident’s cause) and ultimately faults his “leaky broken pants” for causing him to blame his pals. His friends, for their part, wisely move on—and start passing the donuts. The woodsy-hued pictures feature thick black outlines and flattened perspectives in Ohora’s trademark style; text told via dialogue balloons lends hilarity. Shea (Crash, Splash, or Moo!) and Ohora (Bikes for Sale) make a terrific team, creating a comedy that is at both laugh-out-loud off-kilter and deeply humane. Ages 4–8. [em](Sept.) [/em]