The Wimbledon family—mother, father, four children, a cat, and Stanley, a brilliantly inventive beagle—have a sleepless night.
One by one, mother Wilma, daughters Wendy and Wanda, and sons Willie and Wylie rouse father Walter to investigate one peculiar sound after another. It turns out that “It’s only Stanley,” noisily at work cooking, fixing drains, the oil tank and an old TV, and occasionally howling at the moon. (Beagles are famous for baying.) But Stanley has a plan that will give them an adventure in near space—a trip to the moon in their house, now a rocket ship thanks to his romantic determination and his inventive genius. Agee’s rhyming verse is set out in a rhythmic pattern that concludes each stanza after a wordless spread that illustrates Stanley’s activities, heightening the humor and the humans’ befuddlement. Each character has a distinct personality and is easily identifiable in the humorous washes—especially the worker dog, busily creating an almighty mess throughout the house. Stanley’s mechanical inventions are full of detail that will captivate young tinkerers. Readers and listeners will enjoy the adventure and know what Stanley is up to before the final climactic sequence.
Fun—just plain fun. (Picture book. 6-8)