cover image Possum Stew

Possum Stew

Doug Cushman. Dutton Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44566-1

In this amusingly convoluted tale, Possum, known throughout the swamp as a practical joker, plays a splendid prank on Bear and Gator. The rascal ties their fishing lines together so that they pull each other into the swamp--and then steals the fish they've spent all day catching. Fed up with Possum's antics, Bear has an idea to trick the trickster: he pretends to be sick, and sends Gator over to Possum's house to borrow some turnips. Possum feels bad about Bear being sick, and goes to visit, bringing vegetables, fish bones and peaches as a peace offering. When he arrives and asks Gator, ``What's cooking?,'' he's in for the surprise of his life. Cushman's colorful, bigger-than-life watercolors are as entertaining as his down-home slang and sly story line. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)