Review of the Week: It’s Only Stanley

It's Only StanleyAgee, Jon. Its Only Stanley. Jon Agee, Illus. Picture. Book. Dial/Penguin, 03/2015. [32]p. $17.9.9 978-0-8037-3907-9.  OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-2.

The title serves as the refrain for this rhyming picture book featuring the Wimbledon family with a patriarch who grossly underestimates the intelligence of their beagle. Agee’s watercolor paintings offer the feel of a graphic novel with clues to the conclusion once the reader looks back (the cat is onto Stanley). It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite illustration. Agee’s text and illustrations build upon each other to a hilarious conclusion. The story improves with each subsequent review as the reader notices more and more clues as to Stanley’s aspirations buried in the illustrations.

Beth Gousman, Montclair School

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