Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs; someone just needs to tell the lemmings.
Foxy, a crew member aboard the aptly named S.S. Cliff (a container ship that happens to be a whale), reads a fascinating book about lemmings. The book says that lemmings do not jump off cliffs. But when Foxy relates this tidbit to Capt. PB (presumably short for “Polar Bear”), three stubby little lemmings hear the word “jump” and gleefully throw themselves overboard. “Jump? I’ll jump!” / “Me too!” / “Ditto!” Foxy fishes them out and urges them to read the book so they can see for themselves that lemmings do not jump off cliffs. “Jump? I’ll jump!” / “Me too!” / “Ditto!” Off they go, over the side. “I don’t think they read the book,” Capt. PB says ruefully. After a few more foolish leaps, each one more perilous than the next (“Sinking! Sinking fast!” / “Me too!” / “Glub!”), Foxy realizes the lemmings cannot read. He works with them until they can all comprehend the most important words in the book: “Lemmings DON’T jump off cliffs,” (earning a thumbs-up from curmudgeon Capt. PB). OHora applies his customary matte paints to his Arctic Ocean scenes, peach skies, teal seas, and white icebergs dominating the backgrounds. Foxy and Capt. PB make convincing if fuzzy tars, the lemmings look like tribbles with faces and stubby little legs, and it’s nice to see a real working vessel in a picture book.
Delightfully imparts the joy and discovery of reading—and many chuckles and guffaws. (Picture book. 4-8)