When a coastal city in Newfoundland is mysteriously inundated with puffins, no one knows what to do until “someone small and smart” devises the perfect plan.
Suddenly, puffins are “popping up everywhere.” Could they be attracted to the city lights, the rows of colorful houses, or the seafood restaurants? Regardless, puffins appear downtown in “unexpected places.” Overhead and underfoot, puffins disturb traffic and businesses, make pets and pigeons uncomfortable, and generally interfere with “everyone’s fun.” People start collecting puffins, hoping to export them to a faraway place—maybe Iceland. Then a clever girl offers a plan to temporarily solve the “puffin problem.” Endnotes explain how the droll, spare, simple text fictionalizes an actual annual occurrence in St. John’s, when puffins become stranded on land. A “Some Fun Puffin Facts” section provides puffin miscellany. The equally droll, spare, and simple pencil-and-watercolor illustrations rely on judicious use of white space, precise lines, and flat colors to produce amusing, detailed drawings of city houses, streets, and businesses. Discerning readers must look carefully, however, to visually detect the tiny, neatly rendered, but quite distinctive puffins perched on rooftops, doorsteps, telephone booths, fountains, playground equipment, basketball hoops, soccer balls, and carousels.
This whimsical, intriguing, and perplexing puzzle provides an entertaining introduction to puffins. (notes) (Picture book. 3-8)