illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
I thought it was funny that a skunk and I could be going in the same direction. But after a mile I realized I was being followed.
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2015
"Surprising and subversive in the best ways….Mac Barnett’s story ends on a[n] ambivalent note, but a psychologically astute one—and who better to appreciate the mutability of obsession than kids? The great Patrick McDonnell’s drawings are, as always, perfect down to the last scratchy line.”
—The New York Times
★ "Barnett's pokerfaced narration gives off a deliciously Hitchockian air of high style and deep-seated dread…and the collaborators' refusal to wrap up with a cuddly reconciliation results in a story that speaks to the urbane existentialist/absurdist lurking in the heart of every reader."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "The pokerfaced approach to absurdity recalls practitioners of the style from Thurber to Yorinks, and the short sentences, restrained vocabulary, and occasional repetition add to the hilarity as well as easing the way for readers…. [A] daffy yet stylish readaloud with surprising performance possibilities. Kids looking for something a little drier and more sophisticated to liven up their early reading will be ready to follow along with the skunk and the man.”
—The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
★ "Clever visual motifs, sly storytelling, and tight pacing make this a picture book that will be enjoyed by both children and their grown-ups."
—School Library Journal, starred review
★ "McDonnell’s graceful and simple cartoonlike illustrations mitigate the notes of paranoia and obsession in Barnett’s deadpan text."
—The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
"Barnett and McDonnell (Extra Yarn, 2012, and Me . . . Jane, 2011, respectively) combine their considerable talents in this dark comedy. With more silliness than suspense, the story features antics that even sensitive children will love, and older readers will appreciate the role reversal at the book's end."
"Training wheels for Samuel Beckett."