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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weasels, written and illustrated by Elys Dolan. Nosy Crow, Candlewick Books. Random House, 2014. $20.00 ages 5 and up

"But technical difficulties
won't stop a weasel...
though they do like to stick
to the rules.
This is all very UNSAFE!
You'll have to find a different
way of fixing the MACHINE."

Have YOU ever taken the time to consider a weasel's actions on any given day? After reading this hilarious new book, you will come to realize that they are megalomaniacs bent on world domination. Starting with the spot illustrations that festoon the endpapers (different from front to back), you will gain knowledge of the antics they employ to infiltrate every trifling and significant facet of society.
With each turn of the page, readers are privy to the goings-on in the war room as the weasels show their true colors. Each spread is detailed, hilarious and sure to keep your readers intensely focused on the silly antics of a microcosm of weasel society whose goal is to gain control by any means. When technical difficulties shut down operations in the control room, it appears that the MACHINE is broken. If not fixed, all the plans will be for nought!

The weasels are called into action, each encouraged to bring tools and a willingness to help in getting it back up and running.

"Careful! Everything is very delicate and expensive.
We could recombobulate the hydrostability devices.
Or restart it?
I'm entirely confident that this huge drill will fix everything."

The jokes, both in dialogue and in visuals, will have readers poring over every spread carefully. There are weasels obsessed with coffee, technology wizards, many actions that would be frowned at by all Health and Safety experts...and then there are the bosses, and the red tape that is encountered in trying to solve the MACHINE's issues.

Who is that white weasel, and what is his role in the plot? I wonder if they will ever get the difficulties remedied and their quest for power back on track? It takes concentrated effort to keep track of all the action, and get all the jokes. I read it more than once; the second time I chose one weasel to watch and followed its trajectory through the entire story. You can do that again and again.
So much to see and to savor!

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