cover image Possum Come a Knockin

Possum Come a Knockin

Nancy Van Laan, George Booth. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $14 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-394-82206-8

Outside, there's a full moon in the sky and a grinning possum in a top hat with mischief on his mind. Inside, Granny's knitting, Pappy's whittling and other members of a slightly eccentric family are trying to get some chores done. Possum knocks at the door, setting off an hilarious chain reaction as the family pets go wild. The youngest child discovers the cause of the ruckus--only to be made a fool of when Pa and Ma investigate and the possum scurries into hiding. Practically begging to be read aloud, Van Laan's cumulative rhyme is a real toe-tapper, with a delightfully ``down-home'' flavor and an infectious syncopated rhythm. The characters that populate Booth's cartoon-like illustrations have a goofy charm (Tom-cat looks like a direct descendant of Bloom County's Bill). Ages 4 - 8. (Apr.)