Mr. Gnome likes to say, “No!”
The bearded little tyrant wants to be alone on his fishing excursion. “Say hello to the readers, Mr. Gnome,” prompts the all-knowing narrator, whose delivery is reminiscent of mid-20th-century Disney documentaries. Mr. Gnome would rather not. Will he help out Mr. Hedgehog, who’s got an apple wedged on his spines? “NO.” The narrator politely asks Mr. Gnome if he likes juicy red apples, perhaps enough to assist Mr. Hedgehog. Doesn’t he? “NO NO NO!” It’s no use…but here comes Miss Witch. Respectfully, she asks Mr. Gnome if he can stop scaring her toads with his fishing. The rude, pint-size angler, of course, refuses in the most disagreeable manner possible. “Mr. Gnome might be making a big mistake…” observes the narrator. ZAP! Uh-oh, Mr. Gnome. It’s time to join Miss Witch’s stone gnome collection. A wickedly devious, humorous cautionary tale, Blunt’s latest reminds readers that a little politeness just might save them from a rocky fate. The inclusion of the intrusive narrator—amid a cast of fantastical characters—lends a touch of whimsy to the whole ordeal, masking Mr. Gnome’s rather grim fate behind a veneer of didactic friendliness. The artist’s colorful, sprightly artwork is an impish delight, full of droll details needed for a vibrant world. The irascible gnome is white; Miss Witch is green.
Gnome be rude…or else! (Picture book. 4-9)