Henry the magenta raccoon would really like to go on an expensive jaunt to Cake World or Jelly Bean Falls with his bear pal Herman, but their limited funds necessitate a sojourn at Luckywell discount campsite.
The term “roughing it” is not in Henry’s limited lexicon, so when he packs his TV, boom box, hair dryer, and roasted turkey, he feels somewhat prepared for the worst. But falling into a stream in the middle of the night—after his ineptly pitched tent collapses—does not help them to be enamored of the joys of Mother Nature. Lift-the-flap postcards from each of the friends give diametrically opposed perspectives as to the entertainment value of the vacation choice. In response to Henry’s misery, Herman sends for building supplies. The term “compromise” acquires a rather grim cachet when he fells a swath of pristine forest in order to build his spoiled friend a hotel and waterslide. The nifty, interactive postcards and plentiful sight gags, such as a bale of hay labeled “Donkey Fuel,” a rattler perched on the sign pointing to the economy campsite, and a fish draped over Henry’s head, intervene to save the day. Percival’s cartoonlike illustrations keep the story moving past Henry’s litany of complaints.
The benefits derived from this friendship are pretty one-sided, as is Percival’s notion of a happy ending. (Picture book. 3-6)