Cardigan the moose was new in town. When Mrs. Brown’s fresh apple pie goes missing, witnesses come forward to place Cardigan at the scene of the crime. Finding himself on trial, Cardigan insists to judge and jury that he didn’t take the pie — he just wanted to smell it. No one believes him. But despite his assurances, he can’t explain what happened to the pie, either . . . or can he?
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Tim Egan is the author and illustrator of several offbeat and humorous tales for children. He is consistently recognized for his individuality and delightful illustrations. Born in New Jersey, Tim moved to California to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He still lives in southern California with his wife, Ann, and their two sons. To learn more about Tim Egan, visit his Web site at www.timegan.com. For a complete list of books by Tim Egan, visit www.houghton mifflinbooks.com.
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Egan's plump animal characters once again assume human postures and emotions. Cardigan, a new moose in town, is accused of stealing a homemade pie from an open window. It's not a fresh concept, but it's handled here in a judiciously delicious way. Witness after witness places him at the scene. Fortunately, the judge (a hippo in robe and wig) is observant and despite the jeers of the crowd and jury, he suggests that the evidence is circumstantial. Cardigan admits to taking a whiff of the pie but proffers his innocence. Meanwhile, he continually knocks things over with his antlers, toppling courtroom statuary, the flag, and, finally, the judge himself. It doesn't take Solomon to figure out what happened: the whole gang troops back to the open window where pieces of apple pie are splayed out over the shrubbery. "It didn't smell very good any more." Some of the animals in the scene are holding their noses, typical of the way that Egan's clever artwork sneaks up and helps drive the plot. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which feature simple lines and lots of white space, are embellished with raised eyebrows, shifty eyes, and deadpan expressions. Cardigan Jones puts a smile on trial by jury and just might teach young readers a thing or two about jumping to conclusions.–Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
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