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TOBY, WHO ARE YOU? by William Steig


by William Steig & illustrated by Teryl Euvremer

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-000705-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

The late Steig follows Toby, Where Are You? (1997) and Toby, What Are You? (2000) with similarly imagination-stretching family interaction. Out for a picnic, and with his indulgent parents once again playing along, Toby impersonates a bat and a bull, a chameleon, an owl, and other creatures. Euvremer’s fuzzy-edged, low-contrast scenes of a trio of smiling, clothed coatimundis in woodsy settings exude a laid-back coziness that seems at odds with the text’s characteristically trenchant tone—“ ‘Who is that now, slithering out of your basket?’ wonders Toby’s father. ‘Help!’ screams his mother. ‘I think that’s a cobra!’ The creature hisses, spits and snarls”—but the dissonance rescues the episode from being just a remake of Louis Slobodkin’s Magic Michael (1944) and its descendants. (Picture book. 5-7)