Friday, March 9, 2012

Mini-Review - "What Animals Really Like"

Ah, the humor that comes from subverted expectations. Comedians the world over had made millions laugh with such verbal sleight of hand. One of the latest entries to this grand tradition of humor is What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson. Here we get the story of "legendary conductor Mr. Herbert Timberteeth" (excellent name, a beaver by trade), and his latest musical masterpiece. A whole menagerie of animals has come out to perform this latest opus, but little does Mr. Timberteeth know that his performers have a mind of their own. It all starts well: we have lions who like to prowl, wolves who like to howl, pigeons who like to coo and cows, who like to...dig. Dig!? It all goes downhill from there, as the animals take over and sing their own version of the song with things they really like to do. Did you know lions like flower arranging? Neither did I. Robinson's art, done in pen and ink and marker pens is imaginative, colorful and downright gleeful. Just imagine the expressions of some shrimp declaring their love of skiing. We also get a few wonderful shots of the listening audience, mere peering eyeballs in the darkness of the theater. The cover is a little bit of genius, bursting with animals in fancy dress preparing for the coming performance. The only thing that could have made this better would have been some giraffes. Seriously, where were the giraffes? This is going to be a wonderful read-aloud, perhaps well paired with JoAnn Early Macken's Baby Says "Moo"!.
What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson
2011, Abrams Books for Young Readers
Library copy

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