Whobert Whover, Owl Detective by Jason Gallaher (review)
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Reviewed by
Gallaher, Jason Whobert Whover, Owl Detective; illus. by Jess Pauwels. McElderry, 2017 34p
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-6271-6 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-6272-3 $10.99 R 4-7 yrs

Whobert Whover, Owl Detective and nocturnal bird of prey, is in the dark on most matters. When he happens upon Perry the opossum lying too still for his taste, he sets off to nab the culprit that caused the fellow forester to expire. The problem is there is no crime to investigate: Perry is not dead but simply scared to death of the owl, who apparently doesn’t realize he’s a threat to the marsupial. Those who are familiar with the phrase “playing possum” will grasp the concept right away, and Whobert’s repetitive “who, who” will help younger audiences follow along. The bumbling owl detective takes his job of patrolling his neck of the woods seriously, but his cluelessness coupled with Perry’s melodramatics keep viewers teetering between raucous laughter and giving themselves the old facepalm. The scenery in [End Page 17] the mixed-media art gives some spreads a woodsy feel, while others have a simpler white background that allows the characters to shine.

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