A dapper gent on his daily walk discovers that helping community members find lost items bears its own rewards.
Mr Tweed (this import retains its British spelling), a mustachioed dog in pinstripe trousers and a stovepipe hat half his height, successively assists citizens of many species looking for a lost kite in the park, two kittens in a garden, three pet mice at the library and more. For each good deed, there’s a double-page spread that frames the problem, depicts the lost items and cheerfully enlists readers to turn the page and aid the search. Those ensuing page turns yield teeming tableaux chock-a-block with lush scenery and wacky details in opaque carnival hues of orange, blue, purple and green. The town pool, harboring professor Ribbet’s four escaped goldfish, roils with inflatable toys and swimmers from ducks to rabbits (with humans a represented minority). Penultimately, Mr Tweed helps find Pingle Penguin’s nine balloons, released mistakenly at the town fair. Ready to head home, he’s invited by Pete Weasel to “a huge street party” where all the folks he’s helped are waiting to fête him with 10 presents (strewn throughout the scene, of course). Stoten’s whimsical, stylized pictures recall erstwhile graphic design influencers Seymour Chwast and Peter Max.
While less intricate than the scenes in Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo series, these hilarious, community-spirited panoramas will reward repeat scrutiny. Great fun. (Picture book. 3-7)