He tries to feed you to a cat, tapes you upside down to a chalkboard, and causes you to be very, very itchy. And when you don’t show up at the extrafancy party he’s throwing for himself, he can’t understand Why! Not only is Weasel totally sneaky—he just doesn’t get what a rat he is!
In this hilarious picture-book debut, a sneaky weasel finds that his tricks have left him with plenty of power, lots of fancy stuff, and absolutely no friends. Can this very bad weasel learn how to be good? (But, you know, not sickeningly good.) And aren’t we all at least a little bit Weasel-y? C’mon, you know you are. Just a little bit?
When the eponymous "nasty, measly" antihero of Shaw's authorial debut invites everyone to a party "to boast about his incredible castle, fast car and huge swimming pool," he discovers that he has made an offer that is very easy to refuse. Shocked when his previous crimes and pranks are thrown in his face by his victims (he doused Hedgehog with fleas and allowed Shrew to believe he was going to be fed to Weasel's cat), Weasel makes amends and-eventually-learns something about apologizing ("After a while he began to mumble, 'I'm so... so important! No... I'm su... super sneaky?' ") What keeps the story from turning sappy are Shaw's considerable talents. Her gangly ink drawings are amplified with funny visual asides (such as endpapers featuring nasty and nice weasel-themed advertisements), while the quirky typography imbues the narration with a dry lilt (one can almost hear Judi Dench reading it aloud). And it helps that Weasel, whose haughty and sneering demeanor brings to mind Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, is also truly clueless-readers can savor both his callousness and comeuppance. Ages 4-7. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.