What makes a person rich or poor? Money? Stuff? Valuables? Everyone’s view of rich and poor is probably a little different. Sometimes even the poorest person in the neighborhood could say, “I don’t have all I want, but I certainly have all I need,” and feel richer than a man with a mansion.
“Some people are so poor, all they have is money” is the gist of Judy Schachner’s latest treasure, Dewey Bob. Dewey is a raccoon with a little bit of a hoarding problem. The little guy collects everything- his favorite item being buttons. What’s unique about this little hoarder is that he also collects experiences.
Dewey was born in the pocket of an old pair of pants. And when he got too big for his britches, his mama told him it was time to move on. Dewey finds a nice oak tree to call home and then he continues his collecting- all through the neighborhood and at the dump.
Dewey seems to think he has everything- until he’s laying in bed and realizes that he was a little lonely. So, as any natural collector would do, he goes out to collect some friends- and he finds himself a cartful of everything from a pig to a duck to a turtle.
Dewey’s new “friends” aren’t so certain about this, and they head for the hills. Dewey realizes that “finding friends was much easier than keeping friends.” I began to feel sorry for the poor little fella until we see that a mud ball has remained behind in the cart. Dewey brings him home, does some scrubbin’, and realizes a little kitten was hidden beneath all that mud.
Dewey tucks mud ball into bed and notices mud ball’s sad face. Here we learn that mud ball didn’t escape with the other animals because he couldn’t.
Dewey realizes the problem and sets off to work while mud ball rests. In the morning, Dewey has a special present for mud ball- something he made with his own stuff. Mud ball seems beyond grateful for what Dewey has done for him- but will it be enough to bring the two together as friends?
Schachner seems to use everything but the kitchen sink in her illustrations- from acrylics, to gouache, to mixed media and colored pencil. It is so appropriate for what this book is trying to convey.
The speech bubbles and little songs scattered throughout the book tie everything together and will give readers the giggles.
In this short tale, Schachner has captured what it means to be a friend, and what it means to be rich. Themes and messages that can never been heard too many times by little ears.
View the Dewey Bob trailer here and learn a little bit more about Judy.
Look for Dewey Bob on September 8, 2015. Go out and get yourself a copy. Get the tissues handy, especially if you listen to the accompanying CD of the book, narrated by Schachner herself.
This is a book you’ll want to keep in your collection, as little ones will be begging to hear it time and time again. Judy has created a new unforgettable character, and you’ll be willing to make room in your heart to accommodate a place for Dewey. I know I have.