Sloan, Holly Goldberg Appleblossom the Possum, illustrated by Gary A. Rosen. 275 pgs. Penguin (Dial) 2015. $16.99. Language: G ( 0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: G ; Violence: PG (danger).
Appleblossom is the smallest of a large litter of possums. Mama teaches the babies how to hide, forage for food, and especially how to perform. Possums are the actors of the animal world, and playing dead is the most spectacular scene of all - and could possibly save their lives. She warns them not to go near the people or the tracks (where the cars are) and to stay away from dogs and monsters (people), who are the most dangerous of all. But when Appleblossom thinks she has made friends with a little girl, and ends up trapped in a house, two of her brothers try to plan a rescue.
This is a cute story and the illustration are adorable. Sloan is careful to avoid the “realities” of living in the wild, and the consumption of bugs and slugs is handled carefully, so it’s a nice read for the younger crowd, but, most of the humor is nostalgic (“I love the nightlife! I love to boogie”) and theatrical (references to Shakespeare) and I think it will be lost on the intended audience.
EL - OPTIONAL Lisa LIbrarian