cover image A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends

A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends

Philip Waechter, trans. from the German by Melody Shaw. Gecko, $18.99 (28p) ISBN 978-1-77657-466-7

Raccoon sits in his house, socks drying on a line over the stove, thinking. He could make an apple cake to end his boredom, but Raccoon is out of eggs. So he pops over to visit neighbor Fox, who has egg-laying chickens—and who reveals that she needs to climb higher to repair her roof. The two call on their neighbor Badger, who has a ladder, and the sequence continues, each visit a link in a chain that joins neighbor to neighbor and favor to favor. Soon, Raccoon and all his friends are swimming in a pond, their chores forgotten. Taking all the time they need, the animals have fun first, then finish all the tasks—together—when they arrive home. In spreads by Waechter (Jacob’s Fantastic Flight), clear, carefully worked drawings capture the merry detritus of daily life inside and out of doors, tree leaves worked in delicate labyrinths of ink. And each of the characters proves equally delighted with the unexpected way things unfold: “Perfect!” thinks Fox. “A picnic with Badger and Raccoon.” The secret to happiness lies, this jovial book hints, in welcoming every new event and participating wholeheartedly. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)