Turnip the Elephant doesn’t really have much planned for the summer, so when Stucky Hound invites him to join the town sculpting class, he thinks that maybe it’d be fun. He surprises everyone in the class when he turns out to have a talent for sculpting, carving statues of his class friends while Stucky Hound secretly builds a submarine. Meanwhile, Carrot Flower the Rabbit just knows that she’s going to be bored this summer–her best friend Ana is going off to music camp, and Emily, her other best friend, has a secret project that she won’t explain. Then, Carrot Flower receives a mysterious invitation from the town’s underground newspaper–they want her to be on their reporting staff! When the people of the town see a monster in the local pond, Carrot Flower knows that this is the investigative reporting job for her. But the town’s animals are up in arms because Ms. Scrimshaw the Humpbacked Whale, the sculpting teacher, wants to put a sculpture garden by the pond. They’re afraid that the teacher is putting in the garden just to lure their children to the pond to be eaten by the monster. Will Carrot Flower be able to use her investigative skills to solve the mystery of the monster in the pond before the adults stop the sculpting classes and condemn Ms. Scrimshaw to a watery grave? This book is a great story about friendship, fitting in, and choosing to do the right thing, and as such, it’s sure to be a hit with kids who are fans of animals, art, and adventures. Aaron Renier’s black and white line art excellently portrays the cute small animals and their town, and the pages–outside of the panels–are scored with lines in imitation of a true spiral bound notebook.
by Aaron Renier
Top Shelf, 2005