What happens when over 25 stuffed animals go wild? Officer Hardy and her partner will be glad to show you!
Dunn and Nash introduce readers to a very naughty teddy bear whose antics would put most fraternity-house parties to shame. While Teddy’s owner is away from home, Teddy invites all his stuffed and plush friends over for a day of over-the-top fun. A bed is destroyed, underwear is worn atop heads, and chocolate sauce is used to make one of the messiest (and most delicious) baths/pool parties ever. It’s the kind of mischievous fun that would make most preschoolers squeal with joy and most parents moan as they consider the cleanup costs. Dunn’s story, related in the second person to the owner of the delinquent toy, is farcical, but readers may wish for more interaction than they get. The sequence about the broken bed is most successful; the police officers are depicted amid the party’s aftermath on the recto, allowing readers to guess what happened before the page turn. Nash’s digital illustrations capture the zany day in an engaging color palette, but the use of white space on many of the pages creates an austere contrast to the full-color tomfoolery of the party. Although there are only six humans in the story, Nash uses them to highlight the diversity of Teddy’s neighborhood; investigating officer Hardy is a black woman and her subordinate a white man, in an especially nice touch.
A fair if somewhat ephemeral story. Readers looking for humorous antics may find more shenanigans in No, David! or Officer Buckle and Gloria. (Picture book. 3-6)