Mouse needs to catch Gorilla! Can readers help to get him through the maze of streets in time?
Gorilla drives fast through the busy marketplaces, construction sites, farmland, mountains, and more, but Mouse and his motorcycle are persistent. Bright, busy, Richard Scarry–like compositions create mazes of roads, cars, and critters that lead from page to page as readers are given clues—abetted by strategically placed arrows—as to how Mouse can catch up to Gorilla. Multiple members of a cartoon menagerie reappear throughout but not on every page, making for a fun scavenger hunt as big-eared Mouse chases the fedora-clad Gorilla, whose light beige face, broad chin, and lack of neck are evocative of characters from Family Guy and American Dad. The white arrows are sometimes necessary, as in a very complicated market scene, but at other times they don’t make much sense. In one river scene, for instance, they plot the path on planks of wood laid between boats; here the path is obvious, but readers may be more concerned at the notion of motoring over boaters than delighted. Just why is Mouse in pursuit of Gorilla? That’s benign, but a visual subplot involving a different gorilla seen lurking with a bag of cash on many spreads before being cuffed by turtle cops disappointingly plays into negative stereotypes surrounding black people, apes, and criminality.
There are roadblocks aplenty, but this still could please hardcore seek-and-find fans. (Picture book. 5-8)