A sleepwalking goat dispels crises, wreaks gooey havoc, and solves a mysterious rash of disappearing spoons in this Finnish import.
With his frantic guinea pig, Gus, scurrying along to flag down street traffic, Mr. Clutterbuck (“Herra Hakkarainen” in the original Finnish) drifts out in his nightshirt for inadvertent adventure. He brings rival biker gangs together, saves Wally Wurst’s sausage factory, causes a major mustard spill in the railyard, inspires a rock band with impromptu lyrics—“SQUICK-SQUELCH MUDDY BUTT! BRATTY POOPY POO!” (“Rude and crude and just what we need!” squeals manager Ramp Fibian)—and pulls off other exploits, all unawares. Finally, the morning after he helps nab feathered felon Picklock Pete and recover a huge stash of stolen spoons, the grateful town presents the confused caprine with a gift that leaves the exhausted Gus, at least, delighted: a treadmill. An all-animal cast prone (except for Mr. Clutterbuck) to comical overreactions crowds cartoon illustrations that are properly replete with silly details and side business. There’s more text than in a typical picture book, and the already-busy design can seem overwhelming, but silly names and situations should keep older listeners hooked.
No more nighttime expeditions for Mr. Clutterbuck—unless there’s a power failure, of course. (Picture book. 6-8)