Raccoon Picker! Dewey Bob by Judy Schachner
DEWEY BOB CROCKETT WAS BORN IN THE POCKET OF AN OLD PAIR OF PANTS.
AND WHEN HE GOT TOO BIG FOR HIS BRITCHES, DEWEY KNEW WHAT HE HAD TO DO.
"TIME TO FIND YOUR OWN PANTS, SON," SAID MRS. CROCKETT.
Dewey Bob's not too bummed about leaving the nest. He knows all the raccoon rules, and like all his kin, famous for collecting tchotchkes, he's ready to branch out from button-hoarding and needs more room.
Picking out a commodious hollow tree, he sets out to fill it up with more collectibles. So it's off to the local dump to see what's new.
"SOME FOLK'S TRASH IS A RACCOON'S TREASURE.
AND DEWEY BOB CROCKETT WILL PICK IT ALL FOR PLEASURE."
Dewey piles his derelict shopping cart with cast-offs and heads home with his finds, some useful and some suitable for a towering example of found art.
But he is missing one thing--he needs a friend to share his home, so Dewey collects his thoughts and sets out to collect friends. He picks a bunch of cute critters--a turtle, goose, pig, and cat--and trundles them back home.
BUT DEWEY FOUND OUT THAT FINDIN' FRIENDS WAS MUCH EASIER THAN KEEPIN' FRIENDS.
His prospective friends flee the premises posthaste, all but one...
"'CEPTIN' FOR ONE BARELY-BREATHIN' HALF-STARVED MUD BALL."
But Dewey is a self-described "lean, mean, washing machine," and a bedraggled kitten with injured back legs emerges from the muddy mess. Dewey assesses the situation, and rummaging through his junk collection, he finds just what he needs, a doll-sized cart which gives the kitty back wheels and a reason to purr and Dewey Bob his new collectin' companion.
"ROLL ON, MUD BALL!"
Judy Schachner, author of the best-selling SkippyJon Jones series, has another cute critter character, in her latest, Dewey Bob (Dial Press, 2015). Schachner's artwork is as capricious, capacious, and eclectic as her new character, done in a style similar to her best-selling picture books about SkippyJon Jones, a Siamese kitten who fancies himself a Chihuahua, with hand-lettered text, varied fonts in varied colors swirling and curling about the pages, and assorted stuff with everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe that's there if we look long enough) and even a vertical gatefold page to show off Dewey Bob's soaring junk sculpture. Schachner's narration, studded with corn-fed rube-isms tossed into the mix, meanders like a country crick in the rainy season, but her sly internal rhymes and homespun similes and metaphors ("as clean as a green bean") will give kids some giggles along the way.