cover image Pardon Me!

Pardon Me!

Daniel Miyares. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-8997-4

Miyares (Bambino and Mr. Twain), in his first outing as both author and artist, follows in the footsteps of Jon Klassen, dispatching an obnoxious protagonist via the food chain. A tiny, crabby parrot settles contentedly on a smooth rise in the middle of a swamp. But then an egret lands, too, with a “Pardon me” (“Well, I suppose I can’t stop you,” the parrot snaps). A frog jumps on, a turtle joins them, then a fox yells from shore, “Pardon me, but you’re sitting on a...” This is one interruption too many; the parrot, narrow-eyed with rage, blows a gasket: “Now leave me alone!” Everybody clears out, and the full import of the fox’s words becomes clear as an alligator’s eyes rise above the water. A page turn delivers the kicker (“Burp!”), after which the alligator slyly looks out at readers with a polite, “Pardon me.” Digital media techniques allow Miyares to produce fine textures for feathers, fur, and the parrot’s wrinkly eyes, but the greatest impact comes from the electric colors and tight, exciting close-ups. A winning, mischievous read- aloud. Ages 4–8. Agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (June)