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)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Always Lots of Heinies at the Zooby 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 Santat are finally willing to show us the true appeal of the zoo--There are always heinies, and lots of 'em.
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
- Publication date:
- 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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