cover image The Case of the Missing Donut

The Case of the Missing Donut

Alison McGhee, illus. by Isabel Roxas. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3925-3

McGhee (Someday) is in fine form as she creates a knowing, Western-style narrative voice to accompany the “sheriff” (a small boy in a 10-gallon hat) and his “deputy” (a mutt with a kerchief) when they’re sent down the street for a dozen doughnuts. “Better take a look-see, Deputy,” says the sheriff as he checks his precious cargo, and his willpower starts to crumble. The powdered donut—the sheriff’s favorite—might be “a little smushed.” When his attempts to “even it up” turn into eating the whole thing (“Uh-oh! Donut down!”), his sugar-dusted cheeks betray his deed to everyone he passes. Their casual remarks jack up the tension: “I see it’s an excellent day for donuts,” his friend Kareem observes. Debut illustrator Roxas’s pencil and digital drawings lay out the action clearly, drawing little attention to themselves as they dwell on the glossy splendor of the donuts. The sheriff’s unease as he discovers that his secret misdeed is known to all is like a gleeful reworking of Hitchcockian paranoia—with as many giggles as a donut has sprinkles. Ages 3–6. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (July)