Raccoon Tune

( 1 )

Overview

A family of mischievous raccoons rifles through sleeping people’s trash in search of treats.

"Moonlight

June night,

Just-right-for-raccoon night—

Not too dark,

Not too bright,

As we look for treats."

And...

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Overview

A family of mischievous raccoons rifles through sleeping people’s trash in search of treats.

"Moonlight

June night,

Just-right-for-raccoon night—

Not too dark,

Not too bright,

As we look for treats."

And look, indeed, they do! A precocious family of raccoons prowls around the neighborhood, making a ruckus until they find a supper that’s truly “delish.”

This rollicking night outing, in lively verse and action-filled pictures, is sure to make the young reader laugh out loud.

A family of raccoons prowls around a neighborhood making a ruckus until they find supper.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Raccoons morph from suburban menaces to cute critters on a mission, sauntering jauntily to the rhythm of Shaw's (Sheep in a Jeep) catchy verses. The masked band sets out on a moonlit "June night,/ Just-right-for-raccoon night" in search of a trashcan to topple and garbage to gobble. Thwarted by tight-fitting lids, they "crash cans,/ Mash and smash and bash cans," and strain to get at the yummy prize inside. In one standout spread, the three babies play one-sided tug-of-war with their mama's tail, helping her pull off a trash can's top. When the lid finally pops, the receptacle sails off down a hill, the raccoons in hot pursuit, and lands in a stream with a splash, scaring a bunch of bullfrogs off the page. But all is not lost: "Oh my whiskers!/ How delish!/ The can is full of flopping fish" and the family enjoys a trout dinner. Fine's (Piggie Pie!) painterly illustrations, in a lush nighttime palette of deep blues and greens, perfectly capture the mischief in the creatures' expressive faces (one baby raccoon even mimics the Home Alone star's famous gesture as the runaway can rolls downhill). Kids who fantasize about life after curfew will root for these determined creatures as they march to their own midnight music. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
I have to admit that it took repeated readings of this picture book for me to be able to say, "I like it," but I did, and my six-year-old gets most of the credit. She absolutely loved Howard Fine's illustrated raccoons, noting that "they're so happy and they look like they've having a party all the time." The mischievous faces and pure "attitude" shown in the illustrations make up for the "uneven" text work. (I use uneven because some of the phrases and word choices in the beginning of the book don't work as effectively in pulling young readers in to the story.) However, by the time the raccoons are wrestling to get the lid off the garbage can-"The lid is on a little tight/We'll have to put up quite a fight/We pull/and pull/with all our might/But nothing gives until..." Readers will be cheering them on in their quest to find the perfect dinner. 2003, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 5 to 8.
— Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Short rhyming lines tell of a family of raccoons making a nocturnal raid on suburban garbage cans. They accidentally roll one into a stream and when they fish it out, it is filled with trout. Shaw's lively lines, all written from the animals' point of view, add to the humor of the simple story. Such phrases as "Ash cans./Trash cans./How we love to crash cans,/Mash and smash and bash cans" beg to be read aloud. Playful illustrations expand the lighthearted mood of the story. Fine's use of blues, greens, and light makes nighttime scenes almost as bright as the white of the raccoons' markings, and such objects as the metal trash cans shine with reflected moonlight. These exuberant creatures dance across the road toward their goal, team up to attack closed cans, and finally slump in sleepy satiation after feasting on fish. This story will combine well with Jim Arnosky's Raccoon on His Own (Putnam, 2001) and Jane Thayer's Clever Raccoon (Morrow, 1981; o.p.), or nocturnal nature adventures such as Jane Yolen's Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987).-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Out we creep / While people sleep. / Soon we hope to find a heap / Of cheese and bread crumbs, / Piled deep / On codfish bones and beets." A parent raccoon and three youngsters head for some trashcans for their evening meal. One lid is stuck tight; getting that lid off sends the open can into a stream. When the raccoons finally retrieve it, it’s full of trout. "How delish!" The syncopated rhyming text begs to be read aloud. Shaw has done for raccoons what she did for sheep in her classic series, slightly humanizing another fluffy species in a most entertaining manner. Fine’s oil paintings in midnight blues and pale moonlight yellows are charming, mischievous, and dynamic, making these guys a hoot throughout. But the best scenes are the picture of one raccoon slapping his cheeks in Macaulay Culkin-like surprise as the trash can rolls away and the raccoon that’s using fish heads as hand puppets. This is perfect from start to finish and impossible to read only once. (Picture book. 2-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805065442
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.29 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Shaw is the author of the popular Sheep in a Jeep and its sequels. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard University. She and her husband live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have two grown children.

Howard Fine is the illustrator of several books for children, including the highly successful Piggie Pie! He studied at Bucknell University and the Philadelphia College of Art. Mr. Fine lives in White Plains, New York, with his wife and three children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2005

    Rolliking Raccoon Tune!

    I loved Raccoon Tune on the very first reading. The illustrations of Howard Fine bring to life the moonlite story, can lids popping, water splashing! every lively step of the way! My grandaughters (3 & 7) loved it too so I purched a book for each grandchild, and one for my own bookshelf. Don't miss it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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