cover image Bonaparte Falls Apart

Bonaparte Falls Apart

Margery Cuyler, illus. by Will Terry. Crown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-101-93768-6

The duo behind Skeleton for Dinner returns with the story of Bonaparte, a young skeleton who “was falling to pieces, and this really shook him up.” With Bonaparte’s limbs detaching at inopportune moments, his friends devise plans to help him keep it together. But Franky Stein’s glue-and-screws approach renders Bonaparte immobile, Blacky Widow’s efforts get Bonaparte tangled up in her web, and Mummicula’s snug wrap leaves Bonaparte unable to see. The eventual solution: a puglike puppy, whose bone-retrieving skills are just what the cadaver ordered. Cuyler’s readaloud-friendly narration is loaded with bone puns and makes good use of repetition and rhyme (“So Mummicula wrapped and strapped and strapped and wrapped”), and Terry creates an impish monster cast in moody scenes textured with intricate cross-hatching. With pratfalls aplenty, it’s an amusing reminder that small accommodations and the support of friends can help any kid succeed. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Aug.)