It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee

The Wimbledons are sleeping when Wilma hears a spooky sound. As Walter discovers, it’s just Stanley, their dog, howling at the moon — no biggie, right? Well, that’s what you’d think until, one by one, their kids (Wendy, Willie, Wanda and Wylie — don’t you just love the alliterative names?) too get woken up by Stanley’s increasingly odd endeavours — fixing the oil tank and making catfish stew, among other things.

As their concern grows, it’s clear that something BIG is underway, and everyone is in for a long, sleepless — and very eventful — night!

Written in rollicking rhyme that just begs to be read aloud, all the elements in the vicariously entertaining It’s Only Stanley work so harmoniously together that the story unfolds with perfect pacing, and the excitement builds to a climactic end that doesn’t disappoint.

Jon Agee’s deadpan humour also shines through in the subtle but evocative illustrations — the standouts being Stanley’s absurdly impressive antics and the side gag of Max the hapless cat. Kinda makes you wonder what your pet is REALLY capable of doing, doesn’t it?

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