A band of chipmunks discover the pitfalls of stardom in a surprisingly short time.
Sauer serves forth three chipmunks: Cutesy (who is cute), Blinky (who has big eyes) and Bob (who, if a chipmunk could be a potato, would be a potato). They live in a zoo, a flea-bitten, Hanna-Barbera–esque collection of zombified creatures that nonetheless steal all the thunder, much to the consternation of the chipmunks. So they try donning costumes and putting on a rock show. No dice. Trying to outdo the zoo animals doesn't work, either. The potato Bob spouts a truism: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. The chipmunks affect a ratty, odoriferous nonchalance and—voilà—Alvin & Co. never got such attention. But quickly—one two-page spread quickly—the attention grows wearisome, the three revert to their former status, and the paparazzi vanish like smoke. For all their angst over not being in the limelight and travail over getting into it, the chipmunks give stardom very little chance; nothing happens to them that readers see so they can sympathize with whatever was so tribulating. Krall’s artwork is suitably wacky, and the color has that amplified and weirdly mesmerizing quality of early color television, but color can’t put sense into this story.
From the evidence, or lack thereof, these chipmunks protest too much. (Picture book. 3-6)