ONE SMART SKUNK by Harriet Ziefert


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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Rebecca, the skunk of the title, lives under a suburban back porch. She sprays Beamer, the family dog, once too often, and Willy and his parents try to catch her in a trap. Rebecca’s too smart. When Willy’s dad notices Rebecca is about to have a litter of kits, the humans bring out the extreme measures (moth balls, ammonia and rap music). Rebecca leaves them a note and takes off to move in with a friend in the city. Prolific Ziefert scores one of her few misses with this unfocused defense of skunk-kind. The point seems to be imparting naturalistic details about skunks, but the main character is humanized to too great an extent especially in the leaving of the note and the critiquing of the cage. Cohen’s digitally manipulated, stylized illustrations are reminiscent of Lauren Child’s work especially in That Pesky Rat. The artwork and Ziefert’s explanation of the inspiration for the story are the highlights here. Collections in need of easy, bright science-influenced titles could do worse, but this isn’t essential. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-59354-064-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Blue Apple
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2004


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