by Terry Pierce; illustrated by Lisa Downey
This snappy rhyming text has all the woodland animals zeroing in on a blackberry bush with its yummy, just-ripe treats. That is, until growly Bear turns up, sending them all scurrying in a farcical cascade of mishaps. But who will get the last berry--and the last laugh?
Pierce keeps the text light, with lots of appropriate onomatopoeia for all the animal noises when they're happily munching. Downey's lifelike art captures just a hint of whimsy in their gleeful gobbling. And, of course, there's more info on blackberries and their place in the "food web" and a yummy recipe for blackberry smoothie.
This is one of Sylvan Dell's better outings this season, with a more imaginative and sprightly treatment of a nature topic, but one that doesn't stray far from its factual basis.