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When the eponymous "nasty, measly" antihero of Shaw's authorial debut invites everyone to a party "to boast about his incredible castle, fast car and huge swimming pool," he discovers that he has made an offer that is very easy to refuse. Shocked when his previous crimes and pranks are thrown in his face by his victims (he doused Hedgehog with fleas and allowed Shrew to believe he was going to be fed to Weasel's cat), Weasel makes amends and-eventually-learns something about apologizing ("After a while he began to mumble, 'I'm so... so important! No... I'm su... super sneaky?' ") What keeps the story from turning sappy are Shaw's considerable talents. Her gangly ink drawings are amplified with funny visual asides (such as endpapers featuring nasty and nice weasel-themed advertisements), while the quirky typography imbues the narration with a dry lilt (one can almost hear Judi Dench reading it aloud). And it helps that Weasel, whose haughty and sneering demeanor brings to mind Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, is also truly clueless-readers can savor both his callousness and comeuppance. Ages 4-7. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.