The Troublemaker Written and Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

A little boy uses his big imagination to play a game-at his sisters’ expense! When Mom catches him out, he goes to play with his own toys. However, things keep going missing, and the little boy is getting blamed! Finally, we find the real troublemaker, who turns out to be a cheeky little raccoon!

This is one of those books that came at the perfect time. I happened to read it the same day that we found an injured, orphaned, baby raccoon in our yard. I had this idea that if we could nurse him back to health, he’d make the sweetest pet*. Unfortunately, this sweet little guy didn’t make it, but in the 12 hours we were looking after him, bottle feeding and cleaning his wounds, me and my big mushy heart became quite attached to the little cutie. Now, reading this book has a new special significance to me!

The illustrations are gorgeously done in a thick outlined style that perfectly balances detail with simplicity. Castillo used pen and ink to render these beautiful pages, but something about the style looks like it could have been linoleum printing. This is a fun and lighthearted story, as well as a lovely book to study illustration technique! I give this book 5/5 stars.

*Not all states allow raccoons to be kept as pets. Many areas either prohibit this completely or require permits. Wisconsin is one of the few states that both allows the keeping of raccoons as pets and does not require a permit. Always be cautious when approaching a wild animal, particularly raccoons as they can be aggressive. If you would like more information on pet raccoons, I found this site to be helpful:

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