Monday, November 7, 2011

What Animals Really Like

What Animals Really Like
by Fiona Robinson
Abrams, 2011. Unpaged. Picture Book.

"What Animals Really Like" is a new song "composed and conducted by Mr. Herbert Timberteeth." Maestro Timberteeth, an appropriately named beaver, begins his magnum opus as each animal group sings in turn, its pleasures: "We are lions and we like to prowl./ We are wolves, and we like to howl./ We are pigeons and we like to coo. . . . So far so good, but then the animals start to foul (and sometimes fowl) up the song. The cows suddenly like to dig. The monkeys like to play, the horses like hay, but the warthogs like to blow enormous bubbles. After Mr. Timberteeth blows all the buttons off his tux in his frustration, the animals talk him into letting them sing about what they really like. Nothing rhymes, but the truth is told; i.e., that horses like deep-sea diving, worms like bowling, and that shrimp like to ski. Fiona Robinson's charming illustrations (glowworms power the shell-like footlights, for example) help tell her delightful story of art and truth, and the two meeting in a grand reconciliation and finale.

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