Toucan, a brightly colored bird, dances, sings, hides, swings, juggles, and much, much more in this rhyming book set in a forest rich with rainbow colors. Toucan showcases his many talents while other creatures like kangaroos, birds, a panda, a black puma, and a salamander join in the fun. They all romp about, expressing creative movements in the cumulative tale. This well-written book is full of animal mischief and scores big in showing young readers that differences are okay and can be fun. It also shows that friends can enjoy spending time together even though they possess different talents. Hilarious, brilliantly colorful illustrations add to this book. Readers will want to read or listen to the tale again and again and they will discover new antics with each read. The book opens up a wide area for learning about various creatures and also fosters ideas about trying active, creative movements. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury; Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This New Zealand import is a rhyming wordplay and tongue-twisting glimpse into what Toucan and his friends can do. He can do the cancan, and Kangaroo does kung fu, and Aunty Candy and her panda and Aunt Samantha's panthers can dance. Even though some of the cartoon animals are better at some things than others, in the end, everyone has fun watching Toucan (and those who can) dance a wild forest dance. "Who can dance with Toucan?" "You can." Bold primary colors in lively, textured patterns create a rich setting that is full of movement. Reader participation, like stomping and romping and hopping along with Toucan and his friends, will be a natural result of this engaging read-aloud.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
There are so many things these colorful birds can do. Can you? Each two-page spread is a riot of color, depicting several iterations of Toucan in motion as well as various other fauna and flora that he encounters and engages in mischief with. A score of little birds in rainbow colors watches him dance and sing and bang a frying pan. Toucan also slides and swings and does the cancan (on a stack of cans). He also skips and trips and flips and flops. When an excited kangaroo shows up, with an even more excited joey in her pouch, Toucan is challenged to imitate kangaroo's kung fu moves. Other wackily drawn creatures appear to dance and party with Toucan. There's Ewan, an unidentified big-eyed burnt-orange animal with a striped tail who might be a kinkajou, and his imperious aunts Shanti and Tanya. There's a panda, salamander, goose and gander, and also a panther...or two. The pages are positively crowded with creatures who all dance in a vivid tangle with Toucan. And who else can dance with Toucan? You can. MacIver's simple text has lots of bounce and phonic crunch. Davis' illustrations, besides being colorful, effectively communicate motion and fun. American audiences may miss descriptions of the exotic animals depicted; this New Zealand import has no backmatter. Read the book for its gleeful energy, but have one with antipodean animal descriptions on hand to answer questions. (Picture book. 3-6)