Scruff, dog extraordinaire, leads a diverse group of dog friends on an investigation to determine who stole the sausages from the butcher’s shop.
Scruff’s favorite thing in the world is sausages (author/illustrator Zommer treats readers to a visual variety of sausages—100 of them—right off the bat in the endpapers), and he likes to stop outside the butcher’s shop daily to ogle the sausages hanging in its window. One fateful day the sausages are missing—stolen. Scruff, suspected by the mayor, the police chief, and the butcher of stealing them (with the “Wanted” signs to show it), is determined to prove his innocence by finding the thief. The simple plot shows how Scruff sniffs out the real thief, after which he and his friends our rewarded by his erstwhile accusers—with a meal of sausages, of course. The story’s real zing comes from its collagelike, digitally created illustrations. Lively and almost slapdash in their presentation, they amplify and complement the narrative urgency Scruff feels to catch the thief. Zommer omits or obscures the faces and heads of the humans in the story, but their hands are light-skinned. A cat that skulks in the illustrations throughout adds a weak ending twist.
A lighthearted frolic with lively illustrations—Scruff peeing on the tree that holds his “Wanted” sign is bound to be a reader favorite. (Picture book. 4-7)