An owl detective tries to discover exactly what happened to Perry the possum.
Whobert likes to patrol the forest and keep it safe from danger. So when he sees Perry the possum lying on the ground, he knows something is amiss. “Poor Perry!” Whobert exclaims. “I will find out who, who done it!” He looks around and spots some feathery evidence. It must have been Debbie the duck! (Young sleuths will notice the feathers are red, like Whobert’s, not blue, like Debbie’s.) “It was YOU! You whacked Perry with your wicked wings!” Whobert declares. With a cleverly placed page turn and anticipated rhyme, Debbie pleads her innocence: “What a quack! It wasn’t me, Whobert! It’s true! Not guilty: you see, it was—” // “Who?” implores Whobert. Invoking every detective element from eyewitnesses to footprints, Whobert interrogates other forest residents. Each creature replies with the same refrain, leading readers to believe that the culprit just may be someone Whobert knows very well. Pauwels’ digital forest scenes full of tiny onlookers such as bees, spiders, and worms complement Gallaher’s witty wordplay. Readers unfamiliar with the idea of “playing possum” may not fully appreciate the joke—though Perry does explain his unique defense strategy so there is a teachable moment.
A cracking whooooo-dunit. (Picture book. 3-6)