The team responsible for the Tacky the Penguin books and Princess Penelope's Parrot (1996), among others, is in rare form in this picture book, in which a swell little guy proves himself a hero to his tormentors. Wodney Wat has a problem: he can't pronounce the letter r, which makes him the butt of constant jokes and teasing. He's so distressed, in fact, that he routinely buries his head in his jacket--the closest he can come to actually disappearing. He thinks he's really in for it when big, mean, smart Camilla Capybara appears in Miss Fuzzleworth's classroom. But the tables are deftly turned when Wodney is tapped to lead a game of Simon Says: when he says Go West after a tough round of play, guess who does. Munsinger's well-detailed illustrations are superbly funny, a perfect complement to a comical story that will not only make kids laugh but also hearten those who feel they'll be outsiders forever. Booklist, ALA
Rodney Rat, who can't pronounce his R's, is the shyest, most miserable kid in school, until one day he saves his classmates from the mean bully Camilla Capybara. Wodney's transformation from cowering to empowered is beautifully underscored in the humorous, expressive illustrations. Appealingly, Wodney doesn't need to overcome his impediment to be liked--and it's the impediment itself and Wodney's clever use of it that foils the villain. Horn Book
A shy rodent turns his defect into strength to overcome class bully and save the day. Every page is a delight in this imaginative book, which culminates in surprising word play. Energetic illustrations capture perfectly the characters of timid Rodney, the overbearing Camilla Capybara, and their rowdy rodent classmates.
Parent's Choice (R)
and Lynn Munsinger
have collaborated on many funny and popular books for children, including the stories starring Tacky the Penguin and Wodney Wat, as well as the new Laugh-Along series. Helen Lester is a full-time writer who makes her home in New York. Lynn Munsinger has lived in Vermont and Connecticut, devoting her time to freelance illustration.