In this frisky detective tale, Max, a farm dog, tries to catch a thief as the real perpetrators hilariously lend a hand.
Someone is eating the crops, and Max must find him. Off the flappy-eared dog runs, ready to solve the crime. When he sees a bug chewing on a carrot leaf, the chase is on. Rabbit, pig, goat and the crows—seeing themselves as innocent bystanders—offer their help and sympathies. In his determination to apprehend the insect, Max misses some significant clues (like the green bean falling out of the goat’s mouth!). When Max chases the bug over the fence line, the animals pick the last of the crops for a party; then, worried the thief might return, they gobble the food up for safekeeping. Gouache on paper applied with different brush-stroke techniques creates texture and depth. The illustrations, done in a warm color palette, offer a nice feeling of light and color, and the stylized animals move through expansive, friendly environments under a bright, blue sky. The playful text also offers plenty of hints to readers, who will smile at the canine’s well-intentioned efforts.
A lighthearted romp. (Picture book. 3-7)