cover image Yard Sale

Yard Sale

James Stevenson. Greenwillow Books, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14126-4

As he did in The Mud Flat Olympics and A Village Full of Valentines, Stevenson finds, and nimbly conveys, the humor in an event of great import to his cozy animal community. The happening here is a yard sale, to which the resourceful vendors bring such gems as a tattered footstool, a third-generation comb, a broken hockey stick, a hand-less clock with a ""silent"" alarm and a necktie ""once worn by George Washington."" Marketing such treasures, the feisty crocodile Crocker steals the show with his ebullient if suspect sales tactics. In 10 vignettes, Stevenson's snappy text and endearing art comically depict classic yard-sale routines, like selling something of sentimental value to the first bidder and buying back an item after second thoughts descend. And kids will get a charge out of such less likely incidents as two animal peddlers selling opposite ends of an accordion to separate buyers. Though several episodes lack the zip of the best, they all add up to one top-of-the-line item. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)