Cardboard boxes may never seem dull again.
Back from their last high-energy artistic adventure (The Contest, 2013), best friends Scribbles and Ink go to town with imaginative play, fighting and reconciling along the way. Ink, a mouse, places an online order. His package arrives moments later (thanks to “super speedy express delivery”) in a plain, brown, cardboard box. Ink wants only the cheese inside; Scribbles, a cat uninterested in cheese, politely requests the box itself. In Scribbles’ mind, the box could be anything from a sandbox or box kite (hee) to the Boxistar Galacticat. Fashioning the box into a pair of overalls, he models them for Ink, who feels a sudden burning need to try them on. Possessiveness and rivalry creep in; Ink employs some antagonistic cartoon physics—painting a hole on the floor, into which Scribbles falls—and a tug of war for the box rips it plumb in half. Of course they make up, and a “box-tastic…box-i-licious” feast ensues. The real star here is the box, which, whether plain or decorated or ripped or transformed, stands out as a rivetingly realistic photograph in a world that—except for Scribbles’ pencils and Ink’s brush—is otherwise entirely drawn and painted. Corrugated cardboard has never looked so alluring.
The perfect choice for after a move or whenever boxes are handy. (Early reader. 5-8)