Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo

Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo

by Ayun Halliday, Dan Santat
     
 
What is it about zoo residents? Is it because they're cooped up all day with nothing better to do? Is it because they lack the appropriate clothing for their unusual size and shape? Is there no laundry service? Whatever the reason, whenever you go to the zoo, what can you be sure to see? Heinies, and plenty of 'em. From demure to bodacious, Ayun Halliday and Dan

Overview

What is it about zoo residents? Is it because they're cooped up all day with nothing better to do? Is it because they lack the appropriate clothing for their unusual size and shape? Is there no laundry service? Whatever the reason, whenever you go to the zoo, what can you be sure to see? Heinies, and plenty of 'em. From demure to bodacious, Ayun Halliday and Dan Santat are finally willing to show us the true appeal of the zoo--There are always heinies, and lots of 'em.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In her children's debut, Halliday offers a wry tribute to the infinite variety of animal rear ends ("Some are smooth/ And some are shiny/ Some are swimming in the briny"). Her couplets evince both an ease with current slang ("Ms. Elephant's got junk/ In her supplemental trunk") as well as more refined aesthetic (the mandrill's rear is "cobalt blue," the polar bear's backside is "more of an ecru"). But while the text just itches to be read aloud-a mock hauteur is highly recommended-Santat's (The Secret Life of Walter Kitty) pictures convey little more than an artist yet to be inspired. His literal animal portraits are tame bordering on lethargic (a panther, for example, simply lolls on a branch) and his humans don't fare much better-only in the end when the young protagonist decides to show off his assets like the other animals does the art approach the clever mischievousness of the text. One need only look to Kevin Hawkes's recent work in Chicken Cheeks to get a sense of how this book's promise has been squandered. Ages 3-7. (May)

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Children's Literature - Joan Elste
This is an unusual book that can be humorous but also not that interesting after a few pages of heinies. Obviously, animals do not wear clothing, so heinies are visible but then why call attention to them as they are not that exciting. The rhyming is cute but at times feels a bit awkward. The giant armadillo of Peru, boasts a butt that is harder than a bowling shoe, but the buns of baby bunny are so soft it is not funny. The illustrations are nicely done but visually stiff on some of the pages. The panther, beaver, and flamingos are mostly just pictures of animals on the pages. Obviously, the point is that we have different social customs than animals and that human nudity is taboo. Some kids will find the subject amusing, but then it does not feel like a read-again and again book. The most interesting of the animals is the male mandrill because of its obvious, unusual, bright, cobalt blue heinie, but that seems to be the only interesting one. Reviewer: Joan Elste
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

In this humorous glimpse at animal bottoms, a boy and his parents visit the zoo, where they observe the various inhabitants' hindquarters. Rhymed verses keep the narrative flowing as readers learn various synonyms for "rear ends" and see their many sizes, shapes, textures, and colors, from the flamingo's "bright azalea hue, to the armadillo's butt that's "harder than a bowling shoe." Using a colorful, golden earth-toned palette, Santat renders cartoon depictions of an assortment of zoo scenes. The close-up perspective of the blue, male mandrill's face progresses to his fanny, which does not have the cobalt hue that the text states, but is fascinating and funny nonetheless. This book stacks up well against its current competition, Michael Ian Black's Chicken Cheeks (S & S, 2009). Use for vocabulary-stretching pleasure.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Rhyming text elaborates on the bottoms of various animals as readers follow a family's trip to the zoo. The snake has a shiny heinie and the cockatoo's is feathered. Some are bright pink or cobalt blue (though it looks like a pale lilac in the illustration) and others jet-black. The jaunty tale reminds readers that although an animal's behind does not have to be hidden at the zoo, humans must keep theirs covered. This isn't always easy for children, however, especially when one wants to put on his newly acquired parrot costume immediately. Santat's detailed, full-page illustrations carry the story along, injecting subtle humor into the scenes, such as one where the lions are penned just across the way from their natural prey. The colors are neutral safari tones except when, as in nature, bursts of color shine through. Use of scale and perspective bring the reader right into the zoo, most notably at the penguin and jellyfish exhibits. Still, despite this cleverness, an additional butt-book purchase. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423113522
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
05/05/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ayun Halliday is the author of many humorous books for adults including NO TOUCH MONKEY and DIRTY SUGAR COOKIES. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

Dan Santat is the illustrator of many books for children including The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman, the Otto Undercover series by Rhea Perlman, and The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks. He also has an animated series for Disney called The Replacements. He lives in Southern California.

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