Can eyeballs be characters if they don’t have a face to sit in? If you add stick arms and legs, they can. When they link up with a “teeny tiny hamster” who’s in search of a big adventure, the result is a goofy plot.
In a series of sequential, paneled compositions, the two eyeballs (no names) detach themselves from a cactus and string along with hamster Mr. Small as he leaves the safety of his home, where something yummy to eat is never far away: a peanut, morsels of cheese, sunflower seeds, even “lots of poop (only to be eaten in an emergency!).” But there is no adventure! At dark, hamster and eyeballs set off, but the first obstacle is the living room rug, which looks like “a thick, furry maze” to the diminutive rodent. (Adinolfi superimposes a maze for readers to “move” him through over the fibers.) Once through, he scrambles toward the kitchen and under the refrigerator, where it’s dark and dangerous. There, he encounters a dust bunny and befriends it. The text is a mix of word bubbles and narrative. The panels abut one another without traditional borders, and they teem with activity; this makes it confusing for readers to follow the story thread.
The sheer looniness of the premise combines with potty humor for a fairly specialized audience; readers looking for a traditional friendship book may find themselves averting their eyes. (Picture book. 7-9)