cover image A Week of Raccoons

A Week of Raccoons

Gloria Whelan. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-394-88396-0

On Sunday, Mrs. Twerkle's petunias are knocked over by a raccoon searching for grubs; she alerts Mr. Twerkle and he prepares a cage. When he traps the raccoon, he takes him past a tumble-down log cabin, up a hill to an apple tree and down a hill to a bridge that crossed a stream and finally to the piny woods. There Mr. Twerkle lets the little bandit go. But the Twerkle's troubles are not over. Each day there is evidence of a raccoon's visit; each morning Mr. Twerkle makes the trip to the piny woods. By the end of the week, the five raccoons now in the woods put together their route back to the Twerkles. But some succulent meals distract them, and the husband and wife live a life that is raccoon-free. It won't take long for most readers to pick up the main thread of this tale, and while the ending provides some surprises, they do not compensate for the long-winded telling and dull refrain. Munsinger's pictures, for once, bring little to the tale; she repeatswith minor changesthe same illustration to the point of tedium. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)