“Max,” said the farmer to his dog one day, “can you catch a thief?” Of course! He can catch anything! And Max eagerly sets off on a quest to find the culprit who has been stealing the farmer's fruits and vegetables. Within moments, the dog is confident he has spotted the thief --- a tiny blue bug, working on a carrot top. “Stop, thief!” Max cries as the bug flies away. Undaunted, Max chases after the bug, from the carrots to the berries to the beans and the cherries, until, eventually, Max watches in satisfaction as the bug flies away over the farm fence. What Max totally misunderstands in his enthusiasm, however --- and what youngsters will figure out right away --- is that the tiny blue bug isn't the thief at all. The real thieves are hiding in plain sight, right under his nose!
Author Heather Tekavec has created a perfect storytime choice in this fun and funny picture book, as the kid appeal of being “in the know” while the lovable dog remains clueless will surely invite repeated readings. This story provides an excellent opportunity for discussions about jumping to conclusions and blaming others, or even about life on a farm. It also offers terrific lessons for building early literacy skills, such as moving beyond what is strictly presented in the text and critically thinking about what can be observed in the exuberant and friendly artwork by illustrator Pierre Pratt.