What really happened in the woods?
Roberton tells her story in two parts. Part 1: A little girl, in a jaunty red beret and matching sweater, is walking home from Grandma’s house when she spots a strange little creature hanging upside down from a tree branch. (It's a furry critter with a striped tail. A raccoon? A ring-tailed lemur?) She wraps him in a green scarf, names him Fang and takes him home. Though she gives him a bath, a cute outfit like hers, a bowl of nuts and a little house made from a cardboard box, he doesn't look very happy. When she opens a window to get some cool air, her strange creature rips off his new clothes and runs to freedom in the dark woods. But late one night, he appears in her bedroom window, and they frolic in the woods. Part 2 of the book tells the scary story of an innocent little critter who's minding his own business when he's ambushed by a "terrible beast"—a little girl in a jaunty red beret and matching sweater. And readers know the rest. Roberton's premise is as sublime as it is simple, with a subtle message. Brilliantly, the illustrations vary just slightly from one version of the story to the next; it’s their juxtaposition with the radically different textual perspective that generates the laughs.
Totally delightful. (Picture book. 3-7)