From MacDonald (with Bill Oakes, Once Upon Another, 1990, etc.), ten action verbs provide the setting for this guessing-game animal adventure for the very young.
Action wordse.g., build, slide, swing, hide, wade, and climbare introduced with colorful, oversized letters imitating the attribute of a particular animal in its natural habitat. Only a fat tail, pair of stick legs, hairy arm, or slippery flipper can be glimpsed in the introductory spreads for each animal. A turn of the page reveals the hidden creature in full view, paired with the word naming the animal in bold, black typeface. One spread pairs the nuzzling letters of the word Touch with two touching elephant trucks; the next spread shows the entire elephants, greeting one another. The letters of Wade move in the same dainty formation through water as the legs of flamingoes on the next page. MacDonald uses an Eric Carlelike medium of cutting clean shapes out of hand-painted tissue papers to create simple, uncluttered wildlife scenes: a pileated woodpecker pecking a tree or a long-necked giraffe reaching for leaves in the high canopy. A glossary of facts on all ten animals, too difficult for the picture-book audience, will be useful to adults sharing the book with children.