“The Wimbledons were sleeping. It was very, very late, when Wilma heard a spooky sound, which made her sit up straight.”
If you’ve ever had a dog (or lived next door to one) you might not be surprised to hear late-night barking. For the sleeping Wimbledon family, however, their pet’s soulful howling is only the first of a series of increasingly bizarre circumstances that continue to disrupt their sleep. As clanking, blubbing, buzzing, and splashy noises echo through the night, the Wimbledon children file into their parents’ bedroom one by one. Little Wendy is followed by Willie, who is even later followed by Wanda and Wylie in turn.
As the book title suggests, Mr. Wimbledon dismisses his family’s escalating concerns after each investigation with a blithe “It’s only Stanley…” Meanwhile, Stanley is revealed to be a dog of many talents as he switches from allegedly “fixing the oil tank” to “making catfish stew.” Walter’s interpretations predictably miss the mark. As for Stanley’s true intent, let’s say it rhymes with “KABOOM.”
In It’s Only Stanley, Jon Agee has created a humorous, noisy picture book mystery. With even rhythm and rhyming, it’s a lovely book to share with a group or one-on-one. Best appreciated by preschoolers and older.