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A Wacky Words Whodunit

by Josh Crute ; illustrated by Jenn Harney

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64567-284-5
Publisher: Page Street

Absurd words have a field day.

Deer wakes one day to discover that one of his antlers is missing—and has been replaced by a tennis racket. He’s been “hornswoggled!” He seeks aid from Catfish, who reaches for her glasses to better see what’s happening—and in turn finds that they’ve been replaced by two doughnuts (with sprinkles). “What a load of codswallop!” The pair troops over to other pals, all of whom discover to their annoyance that their belongings have also been stolen and replaced with nonsensical items. Each friend declares itself the victim of “poppycock,” “hogwash,” “horsefeathers,” and other dastardly offenses. When a skunk detective with a Belgian accent offers help but realizes his deerstalker has been replaced by a slice of pie, frenetic scurrying about ensues—until the culprit and purloined items are located. The thief has the effrontery to boast of her skill at fooling everyone, but there’s one final trick to be played….Kids will savor the silliness of this vocabulary-boosting treat, love rolling their tongues around goodies like bamboozled, and look for opportunities to use them. The targeted fun words are printed in boldface throughout and defined via explanatory signs (held up by an armadillo) on the pages where they occur or nearby. Some unfamiliar words or phrases go unexplained but should be understood through context. Droll cartoon illustrations match the expressive animal characters’ comic shenanigans.

No snake oil here—just great fun.

(Picture book. 4-9)