Back In Your Own Backyard : Aberdeen by Stacey Previn
ABERDEEN DIDN'T MEAN TO LEAVE THE YARD--BUT A BALLOON FLOATED BY, SO HE FOLLOWED IT.
"Stay in your own backyard!" Mama had said, and Aberdeen was doing just that until that big red balloon floated by, its long string trailing irresistibly behind it. Aberdeen follows after it, burrowing messily under the fence. He runs through the neighbor's flowers, the string just above his reach, until the balloon dips low. Aberdeen's tail gets tangled in the long string as he leaps for it.
ABERDEEN DIDN'T MEAN TO FLY AWAY.
At first it's exciting to float over the backyards, but Aberdeen begins to worry as he drifts beyond his neighborhood, over a field and then over the woods.
ABERDEEN DIDN'T MEAN TO POP THE BALLOON!
But his little mouse nails are sharp, and the balloon explodes, sending him down, down, into the weeds. Now he's all turned around. Aberdeen didn't mean to wander into the woods, away from home, until suddenly he realizes that he is lost in the darkening woods, where his mama always said there are owls!
ABERDEEN DIDN'T MEAN TO CRY!
One thing just leads to another, in Stacey Previn's Aberdeen (Viking, 2016), as the involuntary little runaway takes an unexpected excursion into the wilds. All ends well, with Mama's worried calls filtering through the twilight woods to where Aberdeen is sitting forlornly, and he's all too happy to explain earnestly that he didn't mean to make Mama worry.
"BUT YOU DID, SWEETIE!" MAMA SAID.
Aberdeen is rightfully repentant, but as Previn makes clear in her jolly, ebullient watercolor illustrations, his adventurous balloon voyage outside the world of fenced backyards is one he won't soon forget. As Publishers Weekly points out, "... sometimes, the offer of adventure is just too good to pass up."