Little Trouble in Tall Tree
Author: Michael Fertik
Imagine a group of infants living in a small quiet community deciding to take on the world of Tall Tree. Believe it or not there are gangs that are older and dangerous but this town is riddled with several that are more notorious, clever and definitely cunning. They are the Gangsters known as Squeeze the Cheeks and his archenemy Harry the Rash. Harry is very dangerous and he runs his gang with an iron rattle and definitely tough attitude. Harry the Rash is the head of the most dangerous gang: Poopypants and he is after Squeezy’s territory. However, Squeezy will not go down without a real fight and he enlists the star of our book Mama’s Boy to help him with taking back the sea of power from Harry the Rash and giving to his gang, The North Wood gang. Just how would he do this and why did he need Mama’s Boy’s help. Well you see our young man has some great moves and he used them when he was in dire need in the bank. With a soggy diaper, wet clothes and the need to be changed our Mama’s Boy used his strategic ability to divert his mother’s attention from banking business, stir up the patrons and definitely make himself known.
What was he planning? You just won’t believe it. How about trying to heist the Zero Day Breastfeeding Milk Supply from the Master Class. There are different strains of this great product as some mothers are in full production, some just trying out their new found technique and others spilling colostrums. This looked to be big business and would put this gang on top and their milk supply plentiful. But, how would this all play out?
First, we need to meet our guy at story time where he meets a hot red head that is in need of protection. So, just how would this heist work we meet Squeezy, Maggie and the gang his gang as he discusses the floor plan or blueprint of the Zero Day Maternity Store the mark in question. Even Squeezy has a main squeeze; you might say that is hot Maggie the Moll. As Squeezy tells all of the gang babies where and when they have to be on Saturday to get this done and how they will manage to extract the milk from the fridge. Now, all they have to do when the milk is stored is create some kind of diversion so that Soggy and Squeezy can get into the pantry and steal the milk from the mini-fridge. But, what would happen if they got caught? There is no room for mistakes, gurgles, burbs or any noises or movements that would ruin the operation. This mission people is crucial to the North Wood baby gang and author Michael Fertik, Soggy and Squeezy want to make sure that you the reader understand just how important this is, that you are reading and understanding every word that is written and that if you can’t read you can at least understand what is at stake and the story from looking at the great colorful illustrations. But, what happens next will either make you nauseous, crack up or hope that they go to the store and buy the cans or the formula rather than go through all of this trouble.
Story Time, Johnston Park and the Kids’ Zoo seemed to be where they met, had their gourmet baby food lunch of sweet potato vs. squash mash and hoped that their diapers would stay dry, but the babies were on edge, excited and you know what happens when little kids are hyped up But, let’s remember that the other gang members were there too and Soggy was there with his mom and several others named Ninja Spit whose drool was really more noticeable and yuggy for my taste. Poor Mama’s Boy had a more serious problem just take a whiff and you will understand!
Story Time seemed to be when everyone deliberated what the plan was, listened to one of my favorite books The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and new members were recruited in the gang. Daisy, the new girl that he liked was talking to Jamie the new guy and this bothered our baby boy. Imagine jealousy and boy wars before the age of five. But sometimes things get too much, you get overheated and the end result well you guessed it all over the kid in front of him. Let’s not forget Daisy the poor baby girl that is being harassed and stalked. This little fox really made him smile and he was going to help her out no matter what.
But, when you read Chapter 6 and realize that our Squeezy must have been in the military because he is ready, prepared and has the ear of his baby gang members, you realize that this is war!
Will these guys be afraid or will they succeed? What could stand in their way of getting the milk load? Arriving at Zero Day early and realizing that in order to make his mark in this gang he need strategy and smarts, our young baby gangster had the look of worry and fear on his face. What was the problem? Gang members in place: Sammy the Whine dealing with the infant supplement jars, Ninja Spit drooling, Squeezy their leader checking things out and let’s not forget Maggie the Moll was singing one note on the xylophone while Soggy the Load was bent over by the Shape Sorter. Not too bright but nonetheless there. Then, just when things were getting started Daisy cries out for help and who was she afraid of? Well! I can’t tell you that because I promised both gangs that I would keep some of their secrets and not tell their mothers what they were up to if they promised to not hurt anyone, behave as best as possible and definitely try and stay dry. But, will he go after the baby she was afraid of; will he help protect his turf from the other gang that was also there? Would the Poopypants Gang win the war? Will his gang they take a big hit just when his gang’s plan was about to unfold? But what happens is right out of a Laurel and Hardy movie, Abbot and Costello sketch or just maybe an episode of Lucy and Ethel. Imagine one gang going after the milk and the bottles, someone screaming and whining, another throwing a temper tantrum and poor Mama’s Boy with a fresh load. Just when you think it cannot get worse you have to see what happens when he’s under extreme pressure.
What happens at the end you have to read for yourself as one group of infants take on a really tough group of infant gangsters and what happens you have to read for yourself, look at the end result in the great pictures and illustrations and realize that some kids are smart, great planners, can execute things down to a T and of course prove to adults that kids can do anything they set their minds too. Of course: which gang wins and is stealing right? What lessons can be learned quite a few? As our young Mama’s boy learns the art of teamwork, cooperation and humility as well as that this is just the beginning of his career as a gang member in the first of the Baby Noir Mysteries by author Michael Fertik. Wait until you find out what their next caper is!
This book gets FIVE GOLDEN MILK BOTTLES!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer