My cousin Ed is such a tease;/ He says outrageous things with ease,” opens Buehner’s (Goldilocks and the Three Bears
) kid-pleasingly silly tale. Ed utters the first of his questionable truths in “a voice that dripped with dread,” warning his younger cousin that devouring the delectable-looking blueberry pie in front of him may have fatal consequences (“It’s full of poison, through and through—/ It might just be the end of you!”). This tall-tale teller also informs the comically wide-eyed narrator that he had watched him hatch from “a big green egg in the cabbage patch,” that his head is shrinking and that the creaking noise at night is “just the alligators going to bed.” Alas, Ed sometimes is
telling the truth when he utters the improbable (there are redwood trees big enough that a car can drive through them and you can hear the sound of the ocean when holding a seashell up to your ear), so the narrator never knows when to trust his cousin. The breezy, rhyming verse comes full circle: returning to the possibly poisoned pie scenario, the narrator slyly tops Ed’s droll deceptions with a doozy of his own. Comical exaggeration abounds in Davis’s (Moose Tracks!
) zany cartoons, rendered in watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil and ink. Images of outlandish hair styles, wild facial expressions and other funny flourishes will keep youngsters chuckling. Ages 4-up. (May)