Young Tilly is not just a trickster; she is a wayward imp of the just-this-side-of-mean school of mischief making.
She pricks a discreet hole in daddy’s paper cup at breakfast. “Daddy doesn’t look happy,” deadpans Tilly; he sure doesn’t, and Hoyt catches his appalled, rubbery face to a T. She tricks her teacher into eating a hot cinnamon cookie disguised as a strawberry treat (the teacher is not amused, nor is the school principal: “I am not pleased with her petty little pranks,” he says to her hastily summoned parents). But when Tilly fills her brother’s Oreo with toothpaste, making him sick in the process, doubts start to cloud her conscience. And when her family turns the tables and fills her slippers with shaving cream—ay caramba!—enough with the tricks…until tomorrow (which promises to involve a spider). Clearly, Tilly’s pique of conscience is only a glancing episode; she’s really just a naughty girl. Hoyt’s artwork is a delightful throwback to the Little Rascals’ world—not guileless; actually rather difficult—and in keeping with that television program, the dog—here, a jowly, spindle-legged bulldog—steals the show.Not many deep lessons here—just good mean fun. (Picture book. 4-8)