Trying to find his false teeth, Alfred Crabtree is forced to organize his stuff. And he really has a lot of stuff.
Strewn in the hundreds across large spreads and even one double gatefold, Alfred’s possessions are easy enough to recognize since they’re drawn in a simple cartoon style and conveniently labeled. Categorizing, however, really isn’t his strong suit—so even browsers who aren’t particularly sharp-eyed will have no trouble noticing, for instance, the traffic cone in his row of “Hats & Helmets” or the hot-dog bun amid “Tools & Utensils.” Creative labeling ranging from rhymed combinations of favorite foods (“Spam and a yam,” “Hash stew with cashews”) to a set of flint spear points dubbed “old tools” and, in a movie reference less likely to be caught by children than by their parents, a “stinkin’ badge” will also produce chuckles. Following one spread of “Broken Things” and another of ambiguous items headed “I Don’t Know What These Things Are,” Alfred, exhausted, gets a savvy suggestion from his sister that ends his search. That search, at least: The rear endpapers are a bulletin board of other misplaced items that may tempt viewers to go back and find them.
A witty alternative to Richard Scarry’s classic visual inventories or the simpler I Spy challenges. (huge foldout poster) (Picture book. 5-9)