This is a book that may or may not have benefited from lowered expectations. I've yet to really warm up to an Emily Gravett book (well, besides the board book Orange Pear Apple Bear which is completely awesome). But the thing is my daughter really loves her stuff - Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears and Spells. And, unless a book is totally hideous and/or mind numbing, my daughter's love is often enough to tip the scales. Plus, there's no denying the craftsmanship of Gravett's work. It's extremely aesthetically pleasing in a quirky, almost maniacal, way. So, on some level I appreciate her for speaking to my child and her books have grown on me. But initially I've found most of her stuff to be a chaotic and fussy and really hard to categorize - basically making me feel like an obtuse fuddy duddy grown up.
And then there's this book which so garnered such mixed reactions from my friends - one found it rather average, two others found it a bit disturbing (there is some vague/potential violence on the last couple of pages). And me - well, I was completely delighted! The narrative is extremely simple along with beautiful, evocative illustrations. Add in a surprise ending and you've got a bedtime winner! My daughter and I have been guffawing over this one for three nights in a row! Very cute, very clever, and very funny! Highly recommended!