cover image You Can't Catch Me!

You Can't Catch Me!

Joanne F. Oppenheim. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-41452-1

This charming, original picture book offers a lively text and quirky, unusual illustrations. A ""pesky black fly'' buzzes around a farmyard, bothering the animals and taunting, ``No matter how hard you try try try you can't catch me!'' After a full day of pestering, the fly settles to rest on a rock thatunfortunately for himhappens to be the shell of a dozing turtle. The turtle wakes up, sees his guest ``and that was the end of the bothersome fly.'' Oppenheim's rhyming text has the rhythm and energy of a folk song. And Shachat has avoided the temptation of making his animal creations overly cute. The fly itself is a hairy, ugly creep and its adversaries convey their irritation expressively. It's a fortuitous collaboration; children will enjoy the book's zesty vitality. (2-5)