Kirkus Review


Figley, an opossum/cow/finch hybrid, faces a choice. Follow the latest “fashion craze” to avoid being “a laughing stock,” or find the courage to stand out.

Ever since Queen Contessa started wearing a duck-moose creature called a “mookling” on her head, the fantastical residents of Mutasia have been sporting them, too. In fact, “everyone on Mutasia [has] a mookling hat…except Figley.” With Billie Twinklecorn’s party only hours away, and the stores “sold out” of the trendy headgear, Figley feels pressured to catch his own mookling. His attempts leave him sitting, wet and dejected, in a “swampy pond,” and he arrives at the party in a “silly, squishy…squonk hat.” This one-of-a-kind, donkey-squid cap boosts Figley’s confidence and inspires everyone there to be “just like Figley!” Primarily a story centered on instilling a strong sense of self in readers who may be anxious about being different or fitting in, this tale may have some older readers connecting to its other ideas, such as the importance of creative problem-solving, the influence of peers, and the outcomes associated with blindly following fads. Vibrant and boldly colored cartoon illustrations that cover the entire page draw readers into Figley’s world. Just don’t read too much into the fact that this “mixed-up mix” of imaginative animals exploits a menagerie of other, smaller, perhaps endangered critters in the name of style.

A valuable message about finding “something that makes you unique.” (Picture book. 4-8)