Doing Richard Scarry considerably more than one better, a peripatetic beagle sails through teeming cartoon seek-and-find scenes featuring over 65 named characters.
Migloo is silent but wags his uncommonly expressive tail to signal responses from “Yes, please!” to “I do love sausages—ever such a lot!” The cheery pup hitches rides to the market and town square, a factory, a school and other populous locales. Viewers hoping to make sense of all the busyness on each crowded spread would be well-advised to study the comprehensive opening gallery of Sunnytown’s human and animal residents. Though most look like Lego versions of Charlie Brown, the author gives the cast members a wide variety of skin tones, names from Eric and Molly to Amit and Mrs. Luigi, distinctive dress and pleasantly nonsexist occupations. Along with burying sly jokes in the horde, such as town physician Dr. Whom and a recognizable Mr. Dickens, the author himself walks the streets bearing signboards with challenges like “Can you find the pink knitting?” Happily, the townscape views alternate with pages of somewhat-less-dizzying scenes that offer both plot continuity and visual relief. A closing spread of matching games and other quizzes invite children to test their memories—mercifully, upside-down answers are adjacent—before bidding goodbye to the winsome Migloo.
Whew. There’s definitely a new “Busytown” in town. (Picture book. 4-6)