THE TROUBLEMAKER by Lauren Castillo


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
Email this review


This late-summer vignette features two kinds of troublemakers: a bored brother and a bold, thieving raccoon.

The nominal narrator (with his stuffed raccoon accomplice) decides to play pirates. He filches “some rope” (his sister’s sneaker shoelace), a “blindfold” (her scarf) and her stuffed bunny, sending all downstream in his toy boat. Mom intervenes, engendering the bunny’s sopping retrieval and an apology to Sister. Enter a stealthier culprit—seen by readers, not the family—who pilfers both stuffed toys, Brother’s boat and dinosaurs—even, through his bedroom window, his blanket! A funny punch-line spread shows Raccoon snoozing in the tree just outside, a stuffed animal tucked under each paw, the little boat now a bed. Though the kids and toys reunite, it’s clear from the last picture that Raccoon has no intention of reforming. Castillo’s digitally finished ink-and–acetone-transfer illustrations showcase her signature thick, grainy outlines and varied textures, which at turns evoke soft pastel, thin watercolor washes and rendered crayon. A palette of muted greens, red-orange and blue is heavily accented by umber-black (for hair, inky nighttime scenes and some interspersed pictures in silhouette). Children will relate to the everyday sibling tussles and the key roles played by best-loved toys. They’ll also get a peek at the interplay between rural human households and the wild creatures adapting to their presence.

Engaging and worthwhile. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-547-72991-6
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014


ChildrenNANA IN THE CITY by Lauren Castillo
by Lauren Castillo


ChildrenRACCOON TUNE by Nancy Shaw
by Nancy Shaw
ChildrenNEIGHBORS by George Held
by George Held
ChildrenFOLLOW THE LEADER by Erica Silverman
by Erica Silverman