Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Eaton III, Maxwell. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Fishy Business. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-375-96448-3. $6.99 US/$7.99 CAN.

Eaton III, Maxwell. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-375-86447-6. $6.99 US/$7.99 CAN.

“Nothing weird EVER happens on Beaver Island! But one day…”

Bub & Ace, the flying beaver brothers, spend their days relaxing on Beaver Island, but adventure just seems to find them! In “Fishy Business,” the pair crash land into a tree-eating machine, only to realize that the machine in destroying the forests of their island to make “Fish Stix,” a new “eco-friendly” toy that looks surprisingly like a wooden stick! In “The Evil Penguin Plan,” the penguins of the South Pole have relocated to Beaver Island and plan to use a giant underwater refrigerator to freeze the whole island, turning it into a penguin paradise—“Like home never melted.”

The plots are simple but clever, and Eaton has a cheesy, somewhat dry sense of humor that frequently (and pleasantly) caused me to put my head in my hand and groan. The stories are definitely written with an adventurous child in mind: the beavers get to their house via a zip line and a trampoline. How cool is that? I want a system like that to get into my apartment; I can only imagine the reaction of a nine-year-old boy!

The otherwise black & white graphic art uses only one accent color, which coordinates with some plot element for each book. For example, Fish Stixs markets themselves as producers of “green toys,” and all of the pages are colored with green. In “Fishy Business,” the color of choice is blue, evoking a polar chill as the penguins attempt to freeze out the beavers.

Marisa Behan

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