A cheese shop makes an irresistible target for a bandit rat and his only slightly less avid offspring.
“It was stuffed full of cheese stinkier than old socks. The smell was yummy in our tummies!” Unfortunately, Daddypops’ enthusiasm outweighs his ability to concoct a successful scheme. Following ill-conceived efforts to slip in through the front door and to catapult the young narrator through a very hard display window, a near-disastrous bit of tunneling brings three dirty, wet, weary rats up at last—into the underwear boutique next door. Discouraged at last, Daddypops decides to buy stinky cheese henceforth rather than try to steal it. So he takes up the suggestion of his practical-minded daughter, Shanice, to open his own store—selling gaudy underthings for rats. Shaw gleefully produces comical scenes of the hapless trio of masked, pointy-nosed would-be burglars engaged in incompetent malefaction; Daddypops is clad in a black-and-white striped wife beater, perhaps a souvenir from a previous residence. The story is capped by a parade of rodent customers proudly sporting garish skivvies, and endpaper arrays of labeled cheeses add a nice touch.
When it comes to whiff, no substitute for The Stinky Cheese Man or Garrison Keillor and Anne Wilsdorf’s Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996) but gouda for a few chuckles. (Picture book. 6-8)