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RACCOON TUNE by Nancy Shaw


by Nancy Shaw & illustrated by Howard Fine

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-6544-X
Publisher: Henry Holt

“Out we creep / While people sleep. / Soon we hope to find a heap / Of cheese and bread crumbs, / Piled deep / On codfish bones and beets.” A parent raccoon and three youngsters head for some trashcans for their evening meal. One lid is stuck tight; getting that lid off sends the open can into a stream. When the raccoons finally retrieve it, it’s full of trout. “How delish!” The syncopated rhyming text begs to be read aloud. Shaw has done for raccoons what she did for sheep in her classic series, slightly humanizing another fluffy species in a most entertaining manner. Fine’s oil paintings in midnight blues and pale moonlight yellows are charming, mischievous, and dynamic, making these guys a hoot throughout. But the best scenes are the picture of one raccoon slapping his cheeks in Macaulay Culkin–like surprise as the trash can rolls away and the raccoon that’s using fish heads as hand puppets. This is perfect from start to finish and impossible to read only once. (Picture book. 2-7)