janet wyman Coleman

"Fast Eddie" is the story of a raccoon who takes on a suburban family. The family, the Plotkins, want their home to be perfect. They spray chemicals on the lawn to make them crayon green, mow their field and cut down trees. The raccoon, Fast Eddie, thinks the Plotkins are ruining the world. He retaliates by tipping over barrels and dragging trash onto the driveway.(He builds sculptures out of the chicken parts and tin foil and declares that they are "art.") Puff, the Plotkins cat, sits under the kitchen table and listens to Mr. Plotkin rant about the raccoon. Then she meets Eddie, her best friend, who is plotting his "masterpiece." Puff is torn between her loyalty to her family and loyalty to her friend. The battle escalates and no one backs down. The fictional novel is for 8-12 year olds. ("Fast Eddie" was published by Four Winds Press, a division of Macmillan Publishing Company, in 1993. The book is out-of-print, but copies may be found on E-bay. For large quantities, please contact the author.)


"Coleman's detailed descriptions suggest the careful eye of a naturalist and she does an excellent job of telling the story from the animal's point of view. Their observations and conversations are amusing and well realized. Gillman's abundant pen-and-ink illustrations reflect the text and are particularly adept in portraying Fast Eddie's rakish character. The taut plot, well-drawn characters, unusual point of view and ecological theme combine to make this an appealing story for children who love animals and care about their future." School Library Journal

"The author describes this fantasy about an escalating battle between the suburban Plotkin family and its strong-willed neighbor as "nonfiction"; indeed, though Eddie (a feisty, amoral raccoon), his friend Puff (a cat who's adept-but not always successful-in manipulating her family), and hilariously bumbling Kitty (a golden retriever) express themselves in words, they are portrayed from the ironical perspective of a human who has endured, and been much amused by, their interactions...the animals antics and lively dialogue are consistently entertaining while the denouement...is too cleverly appropriate, and too funny, to reveal here. An easily read story that would also make a fine read-aloud." Kirkus Reviews

"In this thought-provoking story, Fast Eddie the raccoon refuses to stop harassing the Plotkin family, even though his friend worries about the consequences. Coleman provides humorous moments, but the tale also has an edge to it." The Horn Book Guide

“It could have happened in California, Maine or even New Jersey...anyplace

where there are people and trash.”

Fast Eddie digs through chicken gizzards and coffee ground as Puff watches.*

*illustrations by Alec Gillman