Just Another Morning


The day begins as many do:
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The day begins as many do:

I find myself inside a zoo. . . .

So begins a typical day, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

In his bedroom, you see stuffed animals.
He sees a pack of wild creatures, lying in wait.
In the kitchen, you see the family dog.
He sees a hairy beast, demanding to be fed.
And in the closet, you see a vacuum cleaner.
He sees a snorting, hungry monster.

Join this imaginative boy on his voyage through the exciting world of make-believe that he has created, with some help from Linda Ashman and Claudio Muñoz.

And the next time you pull out the vacuum cleaner, take a close look. What do you see?

About the Author:

Linda Ashman is just another author with a graduate degree in urban planning and plenty of experience writing research reports. Linda used to live in New York City and Los Angeles and now lives in Denver with her husband, Jack Hicks, and their son, Jackson, who is just another extraordinary child who makes every day an adventure.

A little boy imagines that the everyday objects around him are fantastic creatures as he goes about his day.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ashman's (Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs) tongue-in-cheek picture book portrays the ordinary world through the eyes of a rambunctious youngster. As his parents sleep, a boy in red pajamas wakes up surrounded by stuffed animals and imagines that the bars of his bedstead belong to a cage in the zoo. The narrator pretends, "I am cornered by a savage ape / I growl and make a quick escape." He tiptoes past his parents' room ("the place/ where giants sleep") and imagines himself confronting various dangers: a vacuum cleaner becomes a monster, a garden hose transforms into a "spitting snake," his backyard swimming pool a tidal wave. Mu oz's (Le Petit Capitaine) action-filled drawings show the boy rappelling down the stairs, smacking the dangerous ape away and flying like superman as his father whisks him back to the kitchen for lunch. Although the boy narrates his own adventure, the illustrations clue the audience in without diminishing the make-believe fun. The boy peers out from a "jungle" of potted plants; the "lake" he jumps across is a backyard puddle. Some parents may be troubled at the idea of a child playing with a rope or in a swimming pool without supervision, while others will appreciate the hero's model of a child using ordinary objects to construct inventive games. When the giant forces the boy to drink a "magic sleeping punch," and he awakens inside the zoo/bedroom, the end of the book hints at the start of another adventure. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
From the moment our mischievous narrator wakes up, we are swept along with his creative imagination. In dramatic rhymed couplets, he describes his hair-raising adventures. He escapes from the ape in the zoo of his stuffed animals, tiptoes past the sleeping giants, his parents, descends the mountain of the stairs, confronts the monster vacuum cleaner. He runs from the advancing "giants" to further excitement. When finally "captured," it's just to eat and sleep a bit and start the fun again. Our hero is a vivacious, adorable, tousled-haired lad in orange pajamas who finds what we "giants" consider mischief to be the way adventures happen. Muñoz's sketchy watercolors provide just enough context; our eyes are fixed on the wild movements of the energetic orange-outfitted performer. We want to join the fun. 2004, HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K-An inventive child's "typical" morning routine will intrigue youngsters while generating giggles. Upon waking, a small boy is surrounded by his stuffed animals: "The day begins as many do:/I find myself inside a zoo." After fighting off a "savage ape" (a toy gorilla), he climbs down a mountain (the stairs), feeds a beast (his dog), challenges a monster (the vacuum cleaner), liberates a dragon (his iguana), grapples with a green snake (the garden hose), and has other vigorous adventures throughout the morning. After a bath, given to him by a giant (his father), and lunch, the child awakens from his nap and again finds himself inside a zoo; readers can only surmise what's in store for the afternoon. The rhyming circular story never misses a beat and introduces some challenging action words (e.g., descend, confront, construct, vanish, trek). Full-page watercolor illustrations humorously depict the boy's tireless energy and sense of whimsy. Well suited for storytime, this spirited tale will stimulate imaginations and encourage make-believe play.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Though he doesn't retreat so far into the Id as Max in his wolf suit, here's a lad who wakes surrounded by live zoo animals (plush, in the pictures), tiptoes past sleeping "giants" and rappels down a stepped "mountain" to get to the kitchen, confronts a voracious, sucking monster in the utility closet, then goes on to further adventures indoors and out before one of those "giants" snags him for a bath, a cuddle, and a nap. Mu-oz dresses the shock-headed narrator in sagging PJs, and places him in recognizable surroundings, to which suggestive shadows or items have been added to evoke his inner exploits. Ashman captures the nonstop action in rollicking rhyme: "I cross a jungle, leap a lake, / wrestle with a spitting snake, / trek through desert, / crawl through caves, / sail a boat through tidal waves." Even children well aware of the pleasures of Pretend will trail along admiringly in the wake of this very Young Indiana Jones. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060290542
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/4/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman

LINDA ASHMAN is the author of many other picture books, including Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs, a Booklist Editors' Choice. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

JANE DYER has illustrated many beloved--and bestselling--picture books. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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