I Vant to Be Alone! Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares
It's roosting time, and an odd yellow bird apparently has had a bad day. Cruising over the swamp, he lands on a small hummock and settles his feathers grumpily to rest.
But some other creatures have the same idea. A big white crane soon plops down beside him. The yellow bird is peeved.
A friendly frog hops ashore and politely asks permission to join them. The yellow bird is aggrieved. A turtle crawls up and asks politely for space. Yellow bird replies sarcastically:
"SURE, THE ENTIRE SWAMP'S HERE ALREADY.
WHY SHOULDN'T YOU BE?"
Yellow bird's feathers are ruffled, and he's spoiling for a fight, when a fox jumps over and speaks with some urgency.
"PARDON ME, BUT YOU'RE SITTING ON A ..."
Yellow bird has had it with the interlopers, the whole lot of them!
"WELL, PARDON ME! THIS IS MY PERCH! NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!"
Suddenly the whole lot of them fly, swim, and leap away. Yellow Bird settles down, self-satisfied at the way he dispatched the squatters. Alone at last.
Or not. What did the fox want to say? Just that that hummock in the swamp isn't what it seems. With an artful page turn we see that it's... an alligator, one who also wants to be alone. Right after dinner.
There's safety in numbers is the wry premise of Daniel Miyares' Pardon Me! (Simon and Schuster, 2014). His main character's end comes ironically, but not regrettably, in this tart little swamp fable that will surprise and tickle the funny bones of kids who loved Jon Klaasen's notable I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat. Miyares' illustrations are equally spare and effective and display an artful use of color to set off this story of a just comeuppance... and a lot more.