cover image What You Do Is Easy, What I Do Is Hard

What You Do Is Easy, What I Do Is Hard

Jack Wolf, Jake Wolf. Greenwillow Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13440-2

Wolf (Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant?) has a rare knack for gauging a young audience's taste for irony and understated humor, and here he caters to it with aplomb. A supercilious squirrel brags that what he does-gathering nuts-is hard, while the labors of his forest comrades-the bee, the robin, the spider and the ant-are easy. Dared to prove his boast, he of course fails miserably (""I ran into problems,"" he sheepishly tells the group. "" `Problems?' said the bee. `Like what?' `Pollen problems,' said the squirrel.' ""). The story ends with a reconciliatory picnic of honey and nuts, and the agreement that everyone's work is challenging. Debut illustrator Dewdney's watercolor, gouache and pencil pictures favor the delicate and sweet, with most of the humor residing in the overweening squirrel's facial expressions. She gentles rather than intensifies the satirical elements of the text. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)