Fluffywuffy is a perfectly nice white longhaired dog with a red-and-white polka-dot hair bow.
The dog shares Mr. Moot’s penchant for quiet, and not a bark or a yip comes from him. When Cousin Clarence, an outsize character in a yellow-and-brown plaid ensemble and a large hat, shows up unexpectedly for a visit of undetermined length, the pet continues to maintain silence. The visitor soon proves to be quite a trial. Clarence likes to make noise while Mr. Moot, a small man with a black brushy mustache, and Fluffywuffy (and a pink teddy) try to sleep. One night, Clarence plays the drums. The next night, he sets up a workshop, complete with rotary saw, and explains, “I just get the urge to make something.” On the third night, he constructs an indoor racecourse and rides around on a motorbike. Mr. Moot is complacent enough to accept his cousin’s odd behavior, but is Fluffywuffy? The mixed-media illustrations have plenty of engaging, amusing details, and Cousin Clarence is a hoot, but this British import has a grisly implied ending. Although Mr. Moot seems oblivious to Clarence’s fate, astute viewers will get the visual clues. Both Mr. Moot and Clarence seem to be white.
A cautionary tale about creating too much noise that involves the abrupt disappearance of a human being. Humorous or macabre? That is the question. (Picture book. 5-7)