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Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie's Missing Brain

Press:Candlewick Pr Candlewick; First Printing edition (April 27, 2004)
Publication Date:2004-5
Author Name:Nash, Scott/ Nash, Scott (ILT)


From the illustrator of THE BUGLIEST BUG and SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DINOSAUR STOMP comes a delightful tongue-in-cheek mystery set in the shadowy corners of a toy-filled attic.He might look like nothing more than a moth-eaten stuffed animal to you and me, but to the residents of Los Attic, this shabby rabbit in the Ace Moving Box is Tuff Fluff, Private Eye. 
So when the big blue teddy begs Tuff to help Duckie, a once commanding storyteller who now can do nothing but quack, the shrewd hare’s suspicions naturally arise.
"Someone has been playing with this fowl," Tuff declares — and before you can say Dashiell Hammett, this hard-boiled detective is hot on the case! With a vibrantly retro flair, humorous visual details, and pun-filled prose, Scott Nash lures readers on the trail of a lovable, long-eared sleuth and his curious crew of discarded toys as they piece together a most peculiar puzzle.

From Booklist

In Los Attic, if a toy wants a case solved, it goes to hard-boiled PI rabbit Tuff Fluff.
Bluebell the bear asks Tuff to figure out what has happened to the brain of Duckie, who tells stories to the animals in the attic.
Nash, familiar as an illustrator, is making his authorial debut here, and he hasn't yet learned the lesson that when it comes to text, less is more.
His story goes on too long and occasionally doesn't make much sense.
Another problem: children may not be familiar with what's being parodied.
What saves this, along with occasional nuggets of humor, is the brilliantly colored artwork.
Nash goes all out, pulling a lot from his bag of artistic tricks to use in both the illustrations and the design of his oversize pictures.
By mixing up the layout with two-page spreads, full-page pictures, and spot art, he creates a visually captivating effect, and his toy characters are delightfully eccentric and fun to look at--even when the text lags.
Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

About the Author

Scott Nash is a designer and the celebrated illustrator of more than twenty picture books, including THE BUGLIEST BUG, SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DINOSAUR STOMP, and MARTIAN ROCK, all written by Carol Diggory Shields. 
With TUFF FLUFF, his author-illustrator debut, "I was aiming to create the sort of fantastic dramas that kids might play out with a cast of stuffed animals and action figures," he says.
Inspired by everything from the Uncle Wiggly and Raggedy Ann and Andy books to Underdog cartoons and graphic novels, Tuff Fluff is set "around the streets of Los Attic, a city that feels a little like Los Angeles stuck in a 1940s detective movie.
The cast of misfit toys created delightful opportunities for parodying the dialogue and style of classic film noir."


Children's Books,Mysteries & Detectives,Humor,Literature & Fiction

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Comment List (Total:10)

  •     Every time my granddaughter visits, she drags out this book. I think I've read it to her at least 50 times. Super cute story about a rabbit detective looking for a lost duck brain. Lots of "colorful" characters.

  •     What's not to love? There is a lot of text. A LOT of text. This might be the longest book my son and I have read together. But it keeps his attention every time. We've had it less than a week, and we're reading it once or twice a day.The only drawback is the (slight) violence, and Tuff Fluff's hard-boiled tone get's us, er, a little worked up. But Thor loves it.

  •     Great book for kids.

  •     I bought this book for my daughter when she was a few months old. It is such a fun book to read aloud and the book has yet to bore me. I especially enjoy the layout with big, full page pictures. My daughter, now 2yrs, enjoys the colorful pictures and is interested enough to actually sit still for 3/4 of the book (rare for a two yr old!). I also applaud Nash's vivid descriptions ("she was as big and blue as a whale in a room full of oranges") and his use of "big words" (I use big in the sense that they are words less likely to be known for the particular age group)-- words like forlornly, swashbuckler, and ventured --they are carefully placed and expose my daughter to a broad vocabulary without making the book burdensome to read.

  •     My daughter, who is 6 yrs old, really likes this fun detective story. This story is much different than many of the other picture books we own. I like the fact that it is a long story, being that age 6 she prefers this.

  •     I purchased this book for my 5-year-old niece because she is really enamored with brains. The story is really cute, and she reads it over and over. The pictures are really colorful, and the story is pretty funny.I would recommend this book to any child in the 3-6 year age range.

  •     My first one isn't even born yet and my wife and I love this book. It is just an all around great children's book. The characters are marvelous. It has a lot of great twists.

  •     I was not as pleased with this book as I thought I would be based upon the reviews I read prior to my purchase. The messaging and the genre-based language in the book went right over my 4 year old daughter's head and I found myself having to stop and explain things on almost every page (either that or reword the text in my head before actually reading the page to her in my edited form). I enjoy using books to help expose her to new vocabulary, but in this case, it wasn't necessarily kid-friendly vocabulary and the process interrupted my reading so much that it ended up getting in the way of the actual story. Maybe she's just not the right age. I do have to say that the pictures are great; Nash is a terrific illustrator.

  •     I don't know about you, pal, but I've always felt there never can be too many books, especially children's picture books, about hard-boiled toy rabbit shamuses who perform brain surgery on a stuffed duck. Turns out, and your jaw's going to hit the linoleum at the news, there really haven't been many books at all about hard-boiled toy rabbit shamuses, etc. etc. Darn few.Incandescently-gifted writer/designer/illustrator Scott Nash dives in to rectify this lamentable lacuna of literature with "Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie's Missing Brain" (just out in softcover). Mr. Nash has tickled the funny bone of countless wee bairns of nosepicker vintage with his marvelous illustrations, which grace dozens of fine picture books, including "Flat Stanley", "Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp", "Over The Moon", "The Bugliest Bug", and "Pickle and Penguin". "Tuff Fluff" is the first book in which Mr. Nash has unbuckled his giddy literary imagination and let fly a story of his own, a detective saga, one set in the sordid overbelly of Los Attic, where, if life is not exactly cheap, the storage is indisputably dusty. It's populated entirely by toys.Tuff Fluff is the shamus. He wears an eyepatch, a Tang-colored bow-tie as wide as his head, and, truth be told, nothing else. This may well be standard garb for stuffed gumpaws, and I'm willing to take Mr. Nash's word for it. Presumably, the stuffy humidity of Los Attic would deflect any sane shamus away from the regulation-issue detective trench coat and felt fedora....though the same could easily be said of California, and that didn't stop Bogart. He needed storage space for his roscoe, his cigarette papers, assorted dinguses, a red herring or two, and his pocket flask. T.F., who travels light, carries none of these.As our nocturnal yarn begins, Fluff's doing the crossword in his office, located "in the Ace Moving Box" in Los Attic ("The City That Always Sleeps"), when trouble knocks at the door. Need I tell you it's a dame? Trouble is Bluebell, a dead ringer for Lauren Bacall if Lauren Bacall were a turbo-plus-sized teddy bear "as big and blue as a whale in a room full of oranges". Bacall was way taller than Bogie, but you ain't never seen a height-differential like this. Bluebell may be big-boned, but she's plush---and she's plush in all the right places.Bluebell has a sidekick---a duck. Duckie, by name. Yellow, by hue. Peter Lorre eyes. And he's one wacko quacko, jacko. He's neither gunsel nor gosling, but he's lost his gift for gab. All he does now is quack. T.F. finds nothing amiss in this, but Bluebell bats her ursine baby-blues, and before you can say "teddy-whipped" Fluff takes on the case. He doesn't even bother to ask for a retainer. Silly rabbit.The ensuing action is, duh, action-packed. It's suspenseful, weird, hilarious, loud, and (toddler boys take note) at least one character gets bitten on the butt. Plenty of seedy, or at least raggedy, stuffed toys flush out the dramatis personae, all masterfully, colorfully, delineated by Mr. Nash in his illustrator trousers. Fluff, who is one agile lapin, saves the day---or I guess the night---by his surgical as well as his investigative skills. He's ably abetted by Bluebell, who (in a deft liposuction metaphor) donates some of her very own innards to restore Duckie's cognitive functionality. To paraphrase Sam Spade, "it's the stuffing dreams are made of." (Rim shot.)Mr. Nash says he wanted to render "the sort of fantastic drama that kids might play out with a cast of stuffed animals and action figures". Tuff Fluff's first caper, the first of many, let's hope, fulfills this intention with jaunty style. A book briefly glimpsed along the way, "The High Seas Adventure of Blue Jay the Pirate" (the cover depicts an avian swashbuckler who, need I tell you, sports an eyepatch) is the next enchilada on Mr. Nash's plate, as it happens, and you'd do well to keep your peepers peeled for it, bucko. In the meantime, "Tuff Fluff" will keep the funny bones of you and your toddlers thoroughly tickled.Review by David English, Somerville, MA.

  •     The corner of the book jacket was tore, I was getting this signed by the author so didnt have time to return it :(


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