The Robber Raccoon by Lou Kuenzler & Julia Woolf

Published by Faber and Faber, 2022.

It seems Rosie Raccoon is up to no good as she breaks into the houses of Bear, Flamingo and Snake but, when Officer Skunk catches her in the act, all she has taken is junk! Rosie has a plan to recycle these treasures and make something new.

The Robber Raccoon is lots of fun, and both author and illustrator do a great job of tricking the reader. The words and pictures convincingly mislead us into thinking that Rosie is stealing valuable treasure. Torchlight and laser beams draw our eyes to gold ornaments and jewellery. It’s not until subsequent readings that you spot the items that Rosie is actually interested in.

Rosie’s dark patches around her eyes don’t help her case either, as they give the appearance of a thief’s mask. I enjoyed this kind of detail in the illustrations. Other delights include the Sniffer Dog Squad who, with their deerstalker hats and long coats, are reminiscent of Holmes and Watson; all the subtle bee detailing in the decor at Bear’s house; and Snake’s Fabergé-style eggs.

The rhyming text is fun to read aloud, especially in the instances when the final rhyme is over on the next page and invites reader interaction. The vertical double page spread will be a hit with young readers too.

The book’s topical environmental message about re-cycling and re-purposing waste is an important one which will strike a chord with young eco-conscious readers. Rosie’s junk modelling skills are on another level and are bound to impress as well!

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 3+

Thank you to Faber Childrens for sending me this book to review.

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