This is the type of book that I love to read but hate to read aloud. The words aren’t really the point here; there’s a story, and it’s fine, but the illustrations are by far the main attraction. The book is full of little asides; conversations between characters that aren’t really part of the main storyline but really make the book. Many of the visual gags are meant for adult enjoyment; the ringleader of the Weasels is a pretty clear homage to Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil, a computer screen displays “World of Woodcraft,” and the weasels all drink Starweasels coffee.
The overall story is simple enough for fairly young kids, but I think independent readers will get so much more out of it. All of the asides make reading it aloud fairly difficult–though not, by any means, impossible. There’s so much going on in the illustrations that kids will really want to pore over them. Any kid with a quirky sense of humor will get a kick out of it.
Review by Kate Sweeney
Weasels by Elys Dolan; Candlewick; c2013, first US edition 2014