Who, really, is the peddler in the yellow bow tie?
A little old man is watering his garden when a squeak squeak squeak gets his attention. In the distance on the narrow country road, he sees a peddler driving his cart. The old man's dog, Happy, barks in welcome. The old man notices a beautiful bed on the top of the cart, and the courtly peddler, whose blue tailcoat matches his bowler, is happy to bring it down—but the old man hasn’t any way to pay for it. The peddler makes a bargain: if the old man can make it squeak by the end of the day, it will be his. But the bed is so sturdy it never squeaks, unlike the door of the old man's house, his water pump, a field mouse being chased by Happy, and so on. The old man invites the peddler in for a cup of tea and a bit of conversation, giving the peddler a chance to see the extent of the old man’s humble circumstances. The old man is never able to make the bed squeak, but a little kind trickery from the peddler ensures his peaceful rest. Fortino's subtle story of kindness and courtesy features plenty of read-aloud–friendly repetition and onomatopoeia. Redila's palette has the color and clarity of stained glass, and his figures are slightly exaggerated, suggesting Baum's original Oz.
Lovely. (Picture book. 6-9)