cover image Oh, Nuts!

Oh, Nuts!

Tammi Sauer, illus. by Dan Krall. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59990-466-5

Sauer (Me Want Pet!) and Krall (Absolutely Beastly Children) hang their story of three big-cheeked chipmunks on a longstanding truism about the zoo: most of the time, the animals aren’t doing anything interesting. Cutesy, Blinky, and Bob envy the (undeserved) attention given to their fellow zoo animals, and “when the sloth got groupies,” enough is enough; they come up with one attention-getting plan after another. Sauer uses the chipmunks’ interests as the basis of their efforts: feminine Cutesy suggests that they give themselves makeovers (they dress up as other, more popular animals), and music-minded Blinky proposes a rock concert. Nothing works. An over-the-top sense of humor prevails, driven by Krall’s exaggerated and almost gruesome cartoons. The dead eyes of giraffes and zebras contrast comically with the humans’ excited reactions to them, and when lazy, obese Bob gets his “If you can’t beat ’em...” brainstorm, it’s portrayed as a “miracle,” complete with rainbow and beam of light from the heavens. After all the chipmunks’ planning, the denouement comes across as too quick and easy. Ages 3–6. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)