RUBY AND THE SNIFFS by Michael Emberley


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Ruby, an imaginative little mouse with a big attitude, hears a “thumpity-bump!” from upstairs and simply must investigate. Tricking her babysitter, Mrs. Mastiff, with a fraudulent game of hide-and-seek, Ruby ventures into the upstairs apartment, where she encounters the three Sniffs—new neighbor pigs whose denseness is equaled by their supreme good nature. Emberley rings the changes on the “Three Bears” motif, but this offering is not a simple fracturing of the familiar tale, but a rather overblown romp that pits the highly savvy Ruby against the very numb, rather gross (they are pigs, after all) Sniffs, throwing in a genuine cat burglar to round out the story. If the elegance of the original story is lost in the chaos, kids will nevertheless enjoy the street-smart Ruby and the dimwitted pigs. The very funny cartoon vignettes compensate for the overlong text, depicting a pointy-nosed Ruby in red overalls and oversized baseball cap (on backwards, natch) and a set of fat, hairy Sniffs, the genteel Mrs. Mastiff adding a touch of Steigian elegance. Not quite just right, but close enough. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-316-23664-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2004


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