cover image Knot Cannot

Knot Cannot

Tiffany Stone, illus. by Mike Lowery. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7352-3080-4

Knot, a googly-eyed, looped piece of bright orange rope “aches to be like Snake,” a bright green reptile who can slither, hiss, and shed her skin to look “brand-new.” But when Snake is threatened by a sharp-beaked bird, Knot realizes he knows something Snake doesn’t: how to tie her into a big, wide knot so the predator can’t swallow her. The day is saved (gratitude is expressed as a forked-tongue lick), and Snake is eagerly schooled on how to turn herself into other knots, including a timber hitch and a stevedore. The text is peppered with word-play that morphs from a stern “Can Knot do this? Knot cannot” to “He’s a frayed knot.” Goofy, diagrammatic cartooning plays along, with lots of comically emphatic hand-drawn annotations and commentary (“TOO WIDE HA HA!” reads a key note that leads up to the rescue). In the talented, sublimely silly hands of Stone (Tallulah Plays the Tuba) and Lowery (the Kid Spy series), the question “What do I have to offer the world?” seems far less knotty. 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Hilary McMahon, Westwood Creative Artists. Illustrator’s agent: Susan McCabe, Lilla Rogers Studios. (Apr.) [/em]