“Nasty, measly” Sneaky Weasel’s schemes and scams have made him rich, but when nobody comes to his big party, Weasel determines to discover why. Rabbit reminds him that he was a school bully; Rat tells about how Weasel ruined his scientific experiment; and Shrew points out that Weasel’s mean actions have repercussions—a revelation that inspires Weasel to apologize (if initially reluctantly), reform, and try to be a good friend. The descriptive, lively narrative offers an entertaining exploration of bullying, including its impact on both bullies and victims; the challenges of changing behavior; and, ultimately, the rewards of kindness and generosity. The animated, colorful illustrations feature Weasel in intricately rendered scenes that are filled with clever details and insets that portray his past exploits. Throughout, the text and art convey Weasel’s transformation, extending all the way to the endpaper images of Weasel’s business ads, which progress in tone from nasty to nice. Children will embrace this amusing and supportive picture-book debut and its enjoyable protagonist, who discovers the meaning and value of friendship. Grades K-3. --Shelle Rosenfeld
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 16, 2009:
"[Shaw's] gangly ink drawings are amplified with funny visual asides ..., while the quirky typography imbues the narration with a dry lilt."Review, People Magazine, April 6, 2009:
"A varmint whose wiles have earned him stuff, but no friends learns to be good– "but, you know, not sickeningly good."Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2009:
has a wholesome moral mixed into abundant, sly humor ... It needs to be read and read again to ingest the bounty of visual jokes and lovable malice."