Comic-book panels, speech bubbles and rapid-fire dialogue heighten the humor that builds during the brothers’ tiny odyssey. Before setting out, the pear-shaped critters cover their cowardly heads with dish gloves, a tea cup, a boot, a paper towel roll, a lampshade and a faucet to recreate the reassuring darkness of their hole. Seeing little, they grossly misinterpret every juncture of their journey. A mud puddle could only be the vast ocean; a desk, a mountain; a pile of dirt, a desert; the edge of a rusted-out dryer must be the end of the world. Intermittently, one little guy blindly calls out, “Brother?”—a sweet touch and a dependable giggle. Hysteria builds and readers hustle to keep up with the jumpy dialogue between seven furry speakers and the often-cluttered illustrations, which somehow seem both static (all the head pieces appear in yellow, all the animals’ bodies look very similar) and also busy with incremental changes. When a dog snatches one of the brothers, effective double-page spreads bring great dramatic crescendos, laughs and a rest for readers’ eyes. Kids will cheer as the brothers use their heads (and head gear) to subdue the beast and finally muster the courage to find a home out of the junkyard, out in the open.
Fast-paced with wit and heart, this ridiculous rodent road-trip will appeal to future comic-book lovers—and anyone part of a tight band of brothers (or sisters). (Picture book. 4-8)