cover image Secret Pizza Party

Secret Pizza Party

Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. Dial, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3947-5

“Poor Raccoon. All he wants in life is some pizza.” And who can blame him? Pizza is its own breed of perfect: “So beautiful, you could hang it on the wall of a museum,” (Salmieri mounts a slice between a Picasso and a Matisse). “So convenient, you could eat it in the bathtub.” The narrator—who is undoubtedly related to the same skewed logician who explained the dragon-taco connection in Dragons Love Tacos—decides that what Raccoon needs is a secret pizza party: “So folks don’t show up to bonk you with brooms” (something that happens to him with alarming regularity) and because “When you make something secret, you make it special.” There’s just one catch: Raccoon has to get the pizza, and he’s a wanted pizza thief. Although not up to the silly sublimity of their previous efforts—the pacing is a bit slack, and the ending slapdash—Rubin and Salmieri still score plenty of comic points with their deadpan riffs, offbeat asides, and singleminded hero who can’t catch a gooey, cheesy break. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)