Kitty cat (and human boy stand-in) Tumford Stoutt learns a lesson about rude noises.
This Tuesday, Sweet Apple Green is in for a ruckus. Tum beats his drum. He makes bubbles in his dish. He burps and giggles at the table. His parents aren’t pleased, but Tum doesn’t care. He likes the attention. Then in front of the Sweet Apple Guild, Tum does the unforgivable: toots the patootie trumpet. Mom and Dad put him in timeout. With a little help from readers, Tum learns not all attention is good. Tumford’s second didactic tale suffers many of the same problems of his first. Thankfully, his strange and disturbing clothes are gone (save for a bandanna). However, the equally distressing, clunky, forced-rhyme verse is still in evidence, as well as the previous book's illogic. Young audiences will scratch their heads over Tum eating from a bowl on the floor and then a plate at the table. Their parents will wonder why the lesson isn’t “don’t be rude” or “apologize for rudeness” (which we thought we learned in Tumford the Terrible, 2011), but is instead: Public displays of gas lead to punishment. Tillman’s precious illustrations mesh better with her treacly, sentiment-laden titles than with this practical lesson in etiquette.
Well-intentioned, though not well-thought-through. Tum’s not worth your time. (Picture book. 3-6)