All that glitters can turn a raccoon’s head, but how much is enough?
“In a forest with trees pointing up to the moon, / there lived and there sang an uncommon raccoon. / … / High in his perch at the top of a tree, / Rahoola sang simply to set a song free.” While Rahoola sings, other raccoons obsessively collect sparkly objects in the moonlight. Rahoola knows nothing of their obsession until bears set upon his cousin and Rahoola inherits a house full of shiny things. He forgets his song and fixates on collecting until the house overflows…and then he sees his “treasures” in the light of the sun. All those shiny objects were really just trash (tinfoil balls, tin cans and greasy takeout boxes). Lesson learned, Rahoola packs the junk off to the dump and resumes his nightly singing. Art teacher and indie comic-strip artist Anke’s moralistic fable is a bit forced in message and, at times, rhyme. “After a while, the shiny thing habit / became the raccoons’ ‘Stop-Look-and-Grab-It.’ ” There are logic gaps too: Rahoola’s realization occurs after seeing his loot in daylight, but earlier illustrations show well-lit raccoon-home interiors. Anke’s watercolors, a mix of spot and full-bleed, show skinny, expressive, often goofy raccoons; but the palette never strays very far from grays and tans.
A worthy-enough lesson in a passable package. An additional title at best. (Picture book. 4-7)