PreS-Gr 2—Agee applies his trademark humor to a wacky new picture book, featuring Stanley, a beagle whose odd nocturnal activities keep his family from sleeping.
The single-minded canine drives the Wimbledons crazy one night, howling at the moon, fixing the oil tank, repairing an old TV, and making catfish stew, before finally revealing his master plan. Written in verse, the text serves up plenty of laughs, though a few rhymes seem a bit forced ("It was late as it can get,/When Wanda heard a buzzing noise/That made her all upset.").
Agee's signature cartoon style is ideal for the narrative, and the expressions of the various characters, from the endearingly eccentric, steadfast Stanley to the beleaguered Wimbledons, are simple yet endlessly entertaining. The responses of the put-upon family cat in particular will provoke plenty of giggles (for instance, it's seen slurping at the catfish stew on a spread, then turning green on the following one).
Sound effects ("SPLISH SPLASH," "KAPOW!") add to the zany humor, making this one perfect for read-alouds. The out-of-this-world but amusing conclusion is appropriately odd and surprising. Agee knows what his young readers want—plain silliness—and he delivers. Hilarious.
—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book
Washington Post Best Children's Books of 2015
Boston Globe Best Books of 2015
Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
A Horn Book Fanfare Book
Huffington Post Best Picture Books of 2015 (Winner: Funniest)
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