Groundhog’s Day Off

Robb Pearlman, illus. by Brett Helquist. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-6196-3289-9
It isn’t easy being a celebrity: you give and give and give, but the public never cares about the real you. The famous prognosticating Groundhog is fed up: “I am a groundhog with feelings and things to say! But all you care about it the weather,” he writes in a note before decamping to a spa. Unsuccessful (but very funny) auditions for a replacement include an ostrich who “got the whole thing backward” (sticking its head in the ground) and a louche monkey who trashes the stage with banana cream pies. It finally dawns on everyone that while a spa can give Groundhog aromatherapy candles and a seaweed wrap, those are no substitute for an old-fashioned ego massage. Pearlman (Fun with Kirk and Spock) has written an up-to-the minute mashup of American folklore and contemporary culture, expertly abetted by Helquist’s knowing illustrations. Yes, some grownups may see Groundhog’s “You really, really like me!” speech coming from a mile away, but getting there is enormously fun. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Jean Sagendorph, Mansion Street Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
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