Musicians Mouse, Goat, and Bear can get to Cougar’s party only by traveling over a rope bridge that increasingly and perilously “sways and frays and slips and dips.”
As each animal makes its way across the bridge, Mouse strumming a ukulele, Goat beating a drum, and Bear playing a tuba, the rope frays further. They are not just afraid of a dunking: The Mighty Bitey Piranhas are waiting below. They sing: “We are the Mighty Bitey, / BEWARE our razor teeth! / snick, snack, click, clack, / zzzzzzzzzzz!” Will they get lucky and have a feast? The deeply colored rainforest illustrations with the characters’ heavy, black, sketchy lines were done digitally and look ready for animation. The lantern-jawed piranhas with their many teeth are fearsome and funny at the same time (one has a napkin and knife and fork at the ready). Just as only “a single twisting twine” is left holding the bridge together, a butterfly’s tiny weight upsets everything. The dangerous fish get ready for their lunch—but a surprise turn of events creates quite a different meal. With a little nod to “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” this original tale with its repetitive action and lively text will get kids involved in read-aloud sessions.
The musicians live to play at the party, but some kids may feel a little sorry for those charismatic piranhas. (Picture book. 5-7)