A practiced thief takes an unusual approach to stealing a treasure, with unexpected results.
Wilker’s language crackles and snaps in this brief but hilarious rhyming tale of a bank heist gone awry. Jack (“wisecracker, firecracker, knucklecracking crook”) is a safecracker with his eye on a particularly difficult safe “no other nut could crack.” Readers will notice that Jack’s plan begins before the title page, with Jack setting out a trail of crackers for a mallard drake. Jack’s plan? He trains the duck in the lighting of firecrackers and then smuggles it, concealed in a sack along with a supply of firecrackers, into the vault as a bank deposit. When the door blows off that night, however, Jack is knocked out—and nabbed for the crime—while the wily duck goes free to plan another caper: a satisfying comeuppance for such nervy, bad behavior on Jack’s part. Tremblay’s cartoon art is big and bold, filled with color and pattern, her characters a wonderfully goofy accompaniment to the text. Jack has light brown hair and lighter skin and wears a black burglar’s mask, his eyes big and round (as are the duck’s), like wheels with their center black dot for a pupil. The font is large and clear; great for early readers who will find the memorable rhymes easy to spot on the page.
A blast. (Picture book. 3-7)