The very slightest of mysteries (what's in the big box on Duncan's porch?) is parlayed into 12 short, delightful chapters with a very large cast of animal characters in this funny, easy-to-read addition to the Mud Flat canon (The Mud Flat Olympics, 1994, etc.). Overcome by curiosity and unable to wait until Duncan comes home to find out what's in the box, his neighbors try unsuccessfully to spy out the contents (a new bicycle) and get themselves into trouble. In just a few lines of dialogue and small ink-and-watercolor illustrations, Stevenson establishes the characters' foibles. His understated humor is right on target for the age group, and while many books in this format are deadly to read aloud, this one is a blast.