I’ve had my eye on the book Weasels by Elys Dolan for a while now. My sixteen year old daughter is a huge fan of clever picture books, and is also rather a devoted animal lover. She has a particular admiration for rodents and goats, and Weasels looked right up her alley, despite the lack of goats.
I found the book in my local library this week and brought it home to test it rigorously before deciding whether it was a suitable gift for a strange teenager.
I’m pleased to report that it is indeed the perfect gift for a strange teenager, or can also be used as a really funny picture book to delight children of all ages and inclinations. It won’t teach you anything about weasels in real life, unless they are indeed plotting to take over the world, but it is one of those books that is destined to delight and linger in the memory for years.
I loved this book. Even the end pages are beautifully done, with pictures of weasels in various phases of their plan for world domination, because yes, this is what weasels do in their spare time apparently. They plot the takeover of the world for weasel kind. The story, such as it is, shows how weasels go about this activity, with varying degrees of success.
They do not do this in a vicious, Wind in the Willows weasel type way, more in a beautifully humorous homage to James Bond villains and espionage films the world over. I rather warmed to the weasels, and when things started to go a bit wrong with their plans I admit I found it worrying, even though, come the new world order I would probably be being forced down rabbit holes, or kept in a cage.
The illustrations are delightful throughout, and there is bags of humour both for small eyes and ears and those of supervising or reading aloud adult types. I rather loved the weasel’s addiction to coffee, and the constant sub-plot involving who had what coffee and what they think of it, and their dream of Star Weasels coffee shops as part of their world take over plan.
The jokes come thick and fast, either through the speech bubbles, or the main story, or the illustrations. You don’t have to get them all to find the book funny or just adorable, which is what it is. One of the best picture books I’ve read in an absolute age.