Berlioz has a problem. An embarrassing problem. After weeks of practice, the day of the gala ball is at hand and his double bass sounds terrible!  So distressed is he about this problem that he fails to pay attention while driving, and the bandwagon is now firmly wedged in a hole.  Will nothing go right?

The mule pulling the wagon refuses to budge, and a host of animal friends of progressively larger and stronger frames attempt to pull the wagon from the hole, to no avail.  The tension builds as the time for the ball draws near.

The climax of the story provides many giggles for the younger members of the family, and within the fun of this well crafted tale is a subtle, two-fold parable: the solution to Berlioz’s stuck wagon is not solved by strength or might; and sometimes, our problems can turn to our advantage.

Jan Brett’s illustrations are very richly detailed, and add considerably to the delight of this already appealing story.

Brett’s website offers resources for the classroom or homeschool, but the book is worthwhile purely for the enjoyment factor.  There is also a free unit study available through homeschool share which includes lapbook instructions for the cut and paste inclined.