cover image Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear

Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear

Ken Kesey. Viking Children's Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81136-6

Little Tricker must think quickly when the double-hungry bear ``comestet kabooming through the Bottom like a freight druvstet by the Devil himself, or at least his next hottest hollerer''--and indeed he does, concocting a scheme that not only outwits the bear but forever puts an end to his rampages. This tall tale from the Ozarks serves as a fine vehicle for Kesey ( One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest ; Sometimes a Great Notion ), proving ample enough for his quirky vision and his freewheeling use of language--his dialogue crackles, his forceful images and metaphors tumble one after another in an inexorable rush. Moser's watercolors capture the strange, strong flavor of the tale and provide emphatic, snapshot-like portraits of its characters. His view of Big Double, for example--dressed in jeans, T-shirt and wool cap; potbellied, with a twig drooping cigarette-like from his mouth; and leaning belligerently on a post--leaves no doubt that the bear is, as Tricker shrewdly calculates, a simple rough-hewn bully with far more brawn than brains. All ages. (Oct.)