Viking ~ Illustrated by Lisa McCue ~ ISBN: 978-0-670-01113-1

Flap copy: Cork is a short muskrat who likes to find things.  Fuzz is a tall possum who likes to keep things.  Fuzz finds Cork's lost stone and he wants to keep it. But a chipmunk runs off with it. Who will say 'finders keepers' now?

The sweet story and playful illustrations in this fifth Cork & Fuzz easy-to-read title are sure to delight young readers.

Kirkus: Cork the muskrat loves to find things like feathers and smooth sticks, while Fuzz the opossum likes to keep things like food in his mouth. These best friends, adorably drawn by McCue in ink and watercolor, come into mild conflict when Cork loses his best green stone and Fuzz finds it, chanting, “Finders keepers.” Fuzz also finds a wiggling hump of fallen leaves. As the story progresses it becomes evident that Fuzz is not the brighter of the two: “Should I hit it?” he asks, brandishing a stick. Soon enough they discover a hidden chipmunk within the leaves, who enjoys playing his own game of finders keepers. Fifth in the series, this simple, sweet tale offers a lesson, wisely pronounced by Cork : “Sometimes we cannot keep the things we find.” It’s clear from these pals that true friendship can withstand all sorts of mishaps. This Level 3 in the Viking Easy-To-Read program offers a touch more in linguistic sophistication than the venerable Frog and Toad but definitely partakes of that timeless sensibility.

Booklist: The fifth chapter book in the Viking Easy-to-Read series about best friends Cork and Fuzz, who are “kind of the same but different,” has the short muskrat and the tall possum once again in a standoff. The detailed ink-and-watercolor illustrations show the furry creatures’ body language as Cork is thrilled to find a shiny  green stone, then angry when his friend grabs it and won’t give it back. Quarrels make for great drama to read and reread, especially when kids know that the friends will make up and laugh together.— Hazel Rochman

© 2009 Dori Chaconas