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The Troublemaker

Overview

Bored and restless on a summer day, a little boy steals his sister?s bunny and sends it on an adventure. He is well satisfied with the results?until his own stuffed animal disappears. Could it be that he is not the only troublemaker around . . . ?

     A case of sibling rivalry is neatly resolved with the ?assistance? of a hilarious raccoon in Lauren Castillo?s warm, simple text and gorgeous classic illustrations.

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Overview

Bored and restless on a summer day, a little boy steals his sister’s bunny and sends it on an adventure. He is well satisfied with the results—until his own stuffed animal disappears. Could it be that he is not the only troublemaker around . . . ?

     A case of sibling rivalry is neatly resolved with the “assistance” of a hilarious raccoon in Lauren Castillo’s warm, simple text and gorgeous classic illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/14/2014
Castillo (Melvin and the Boy) gives her typically sweet-tempered artwork a dash of hot sauce with this tale about a mischievous boy who’s outdone by a thieving raccoon. The “bored” narrator snatches his sister’s stuffed bunny, blindfolds it, and ties it to the mast of his toy boat. “Off ye go, matey!” the boy says to his co-conspirator, a stuffed raccoon, as he “send the prisoner out to sea.” The boy’s mother and sister protest, and when the bunny disappears again, they naturally blame the boy. Readers see the real troublemaker—an actual raccoon—dragging the long-suffering bunny off into the woods. When the boy’s stuffed raccoon disappears next, he gets a taste of his sister’s distress. More thievery follows, and the next morning, the raccoon thief is found asleep on a tree branch surrounded by the missing plunder. Gradually, the boy develops empathy for his sister’s point of view (“I miss Rascal... I bet Sister misses Bunny, too”), and the penultimate spread shows him restoring Bunny to her with big-brotherly care. The raccoon gets the last laugh, though. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (June)
From the Publisher
"At once handsome and child friendly, this is a good conversation starter for preschool storytimes."
Horn Book Magazine

"Castillo gives her typically sweet-tempered artwork a dash of hot sauce with this tale of a mischievous boy who's outdone by a thieving raccoon."
Publishers Weekly

"Engaging and worthwhile."
—Kirkus

"The antics of the raccoon and having the tables turn on the boy helps him understand his sister's feelings of loss and weave a subtle lesson into the bright clever plot."
—School Library Journal

"Castillo offers something interesting on every page, either winsome or whimsical."
—Booklist

School Library Journal
05/01/2014
PreS-Gr 1—A mischievous and very bored boy decides to pilfer his sister's stuffed bunny for his pirate game. Chastised by his mom, he decides to play nicely with his toy raccoon. Too bad he doesn't look around, because some mysterious troublemaker begins to skulk off with the children's toys. Sharp-eyed readers will notice the work of a hoarding real raccoon. The final straw is when the thief steals the boy's blanket overnight. When he awakens, he spots the raccoon surrounded by his belongings asleep in a tree—"What a troublemaker!" The full-color pen-and-ink art, compiled digitally, features strong black lines, silhouettes, and a playful variety of perspectives to follow the action. The use of shadows and illustrations glimpsed through circles (as if readers are peeking in) create a sense of suspense. Hands, paws, toys, and characters pop in and out of the page edges, lending a playful immediacy to the plot. The antics of the raccoon and having the tables turn on the boy helps him understand his sister's feelings of loss and weave a subtle lesson into the bright clever plot.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-30
This late-summer vignette features two kinds of troublemakers: a bored brother and a bold, thieving raccoon.The nominal narrator (with his stuffed raccoon accomplice) decides to play pirates. He filches "some rope" (his sister's sneaker shoelace), a "blindfold" (her scarf) and her stuffed bunny, sending all downstream in his toy boat. Mom intervenes, engendering the bunny's sopping retrieval and an apology to Sister. Enter a stealthier culprit—seen by readers, not the family—who pilfers both stuffed toys, Brother's boat and dinosaurs—even, through his bedroom window, his blanket! A funny punch-line spread shows Raccoon snoozing in the tree just outside, a stuffed animal tucked under each paw, the little boat now a bed. Though the kids and toys reunite, it's clear from the last picture that Raccoon has no intention of reforming. Castillo's digitally finished ink-and-acetone-transfer illustrations showcase her signature thick, grainy outlines and varied textures, which at turns evoke soft pastel, thin watercolor washes and rendered crayon. A palette of muted greens, red-orange and blue is heavily accented by umber-black (for hair, inky nighttime scenes and some interspersed pictures in silhouette). Children will relate to the everyday sibling tussles and the key roles played by best-loved toys. They'll also get a peek at the interplay between rural human households and the wild creatures adapting to their presence.Engaging and worthwhile. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547729916
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 282,475
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Castillo has illustrated many picture books and has also written and illustrated several, including The Troublemaker and Nana in the City. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and you can also find her at www.laurencastillo.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter @studiocastillo.

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