Dogged Handydog: It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee
THE WIMBLEDONS WERE SLEEPING.
IT WAS VERY, VERY LATE.
WHEN WILMA HEARD A SPOOKY SOUND. (HOWOOOO!)
WHICH MADE HER SIT UP STRAIGHT.
"THAT'S VERY ODD," SAID WALTER.
"I DON'T RECOGNIZE THE TONE.
IT'S ONLY STANLEY," WALTER SAID.
"HE'S HOWLING AT THE MOON!"
Stanley is a dog, and dogs do that. So with a shrug and a shake of his head, Walter sends all the Wimbledons back to bed.
Then, even later than before, another Wimbledon comes to report another scary sound.
WENDY HEARD A CLANKY SOUND
BELOW HER BEDROOM FLOOR.
Dutifully, Walter gets up to investigate what's going in in the basement. It's Walter, with a Rube Goldberg array of assorted metal objects which he is connecting to the furnace piping. Walter dispatches little Wendy back to her beddy-bye with a Stanley status report.
"IT'S ONLY STANLEY, FIXING THE OIL TANK."
As it grows even later, as late as it can get, late beyond belief, little Willie, Wanda, and Wylie make the pilgrimage to their parent's room to report more strange sounds and smells, which Walter ascertains are just Stanley adjusting the TV, making some smelly stew in the kitchen, and clearing the bathroom drains. "It's only Stanley," he reports soothingly.
But just as the Wimbledons think they might actually get some sleep, there is a BIG bang, a really big bang. All the Wimbledons are thrown from their beds, even Max the cat.
"I'LL GO AND LOOK," SAID WALTER."I'LL BE BACK VERY SOON!
IT'S ONLY STANLEY," WALTER SAID.WE'RE GOING TO THE...
It's a lift-off and touch-down on... you guessed it, the MOON, as the Wimbledon's tall house, re-engineered by the inventive Stanley, lands, peaked roof embedded in the cratered surface. The bemused, pajama-ed family finally files out to find out what all the noise was really about in Jon Agee's latest absurdist tale, It's Only Stanley(Dial Books, 2015). Agee's predictable rhymes lull his readers as he prepares them for the surprisingly goofy ending in which, tongue-in-cheek, he shows them what Stanley has really been up to--and why on the final double-page spread. It's sheer silliness and typical Agee-style fun, which will have kids going back to trace Stanley's rocket science throughout the story. Says Booklist, in their starred review, "Very strange, and very, very wonderful."