“…this tale of doughnut perfidy takes the cake.” - The New York Times
The sheriff and his deputy dog have been charged with a mission: to bring a dozen donuts home safely. All seems to be going well until the young sheriff peeks inside the box to check on the tasty treats. They’re practically calling his name, and in the blink of an eye (and with just a few nibbles), a donut disappears! Wherever could that missing donut be? Luckily, this is one mystery the sheriff and his deputy are sure to bring to a close.
The New York Times Book Review
- Sarah Harrison Smith
With McGhee's light humor and Roxas' appealing and gently-hued illustrations, this tale of doughnut perfidy takes the cake.
McGhee (Someday) is in fine form as she creates a knowing, Western-style narrative voice to accompany the “sheriff” (a small boy in a 10-gallon hat) and his “deputy” (a mutt with a kerchief) when they’re sent down the street for a dozen doughnuts. “Better take a look-see, Deputy,” says the sheriff as he checks his precious cargo, and his willpower starts to crumble. The powdered donut—the sheriff’s favorite—might be “a little smushed.” When his attempts to “even it up” turn into eating the whole thing (“Uh-oh! Donut down!”), his sugar-dusted cheeks betray his deed to everyone he passes. Their casual remarks jack up the tension: “I see it’s an excellent day for donuts,” his friend Kareem observes. Debut illustrator Roxas’s pencil and digital drawings lay out the action clearly, drawing little attention to themselves as they dwell on the glossy splendor of the donuts. The sheriff’s unease as he discovers that his secret misdeed is known to all is like a gleeful reworking of Hitchcockian paranoia—with as many giggles as a donut has sprinkles. Ages 3–6. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (July)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The "sheriff"-a little boy in a cowboy hat, and his "deputy"-a small dog, are bringing home some donuts from the bakery. When the child opens the box to check on them, he can't resist the temptation and eats a "smushed" one just "to even it up." Convinced that his misdeed will go unnoticed, he doesn't realize that he has powdered sugar all over his face. To his great (and very humorous) consternation, everyone he meets on the way home appears to know his secret. Are they mind readers? With the help of his parents, his pup, and a mirror, he finally learns the truth. Roxas's digitally colored, cartoonlike illustrations are funny and expressive, with almost cinematic angle and zoom changes. McGhee's text serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pictures, keeping the hero clueless while allowing the audience to be in on the joke. The "truth will out" moral of this tale is subtle, since the boy's guilt serves as a punishment of sorts instead of any overt redress by his parents. Nevertheless, the story can be used as a jumping-off point to discuss honesty, responsibility, and trustworthiness, or paired with Laurie Keller's Arnie, the Doughnut (Holt, 2003) for a less-serious and tasty storytime. A fun addition to most collections, especially where snack-themed stories are in high demand.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
This simple story of a Wild West enthusiast with a penchant for pastry will tickle the funny bones of young listeners and parents alike. The unnamed young boy, referred to as "the sheriff" throughout and identified that way by a (probably) paper star taped to his blue fedora, has apparently been sent to the bakery for a dozen doughnuts. Along with his adorable gray dog (aka deputy), the sheriff wends his way home on foot, greeting kids and grown-ups along the way. He doesn't get far, however, before he decides to peek into the box--at which point he falls prey to the lure of a plump, powdered donut. Roxas' charming illustrations are drawn with graphite and colored digitally in subtle but appealing hues. A hint of sepia echoes the faux homespun language and Western theme. They showcase a clean, friendly small town of leafy streets and small shops, populated with perky cartoon-style characters. The pictures also provide evidence of the sheriff's crime, to which he is amusingly oblivious. As a result, he is increasingly spooked by the perspicacity of the people he meets along the way. McGhee's deadpan delivery contrasts nicely with her tongue-in-cheek tale while Roxas' pictures provide extra action, atmosphere and amusement. Packed with personality, from the pastries to the people to the delightful deputy dog, this sweet confection is sure to satisfy. (Picture book. 3-6)