Review of Animal Masquerade

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by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from 
the French by Yvette Ghione; 
illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Kids Can    120 pp.
3/12    978-1-55453-782-2    $16.95
For kids who never tire of driving one joke into the ground, this is the perfect book—and for their adults, there are enough surprises to make that one joke tolerable for repeated readings. There are fifty-three animals headed for a costume party, each one disguised as 
the next animal in line. Six additional party guests/disguises include Little 
Red Riding Hood, a three-headed 
monster, a unicorn, a poppy, and a chocolate cake. Of course, it’s funny 
to see a mouse disguised as a flamingo, a flamingo disguised as a giraffe, and a giraffe disguised as a millipede—
suffice it to say that none of the disguises are going to fool anyone—but a little of this goes a long way. Just when you think you’ve had enough, the text breaks the pattern: for example, the bear chases Little Red Riding Hood (disguised as a chocolate cake) before he puts on his own snail costume. The dromedary is roundly criticized for disguising himself as a camel (too easy!), and the hen is simply too stupid to participate. The pencil crayon illustrations show each animal before and after they don their disguises, and they all march from left to right across the page, headed to a party that’s shown in a final wordless double-page spread. “Welcome to the masquerade!”

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Kathleen T. Horning About Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books and teaches a popular online course for ALSC on the history of the Newbery and Caldecott medals.

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  1. [...] starred reviews for the May/June Magazine issue, we read aloud Marianne Dubuc’s picture book Animal Masquerade. It took a good fifteen minutes (each one of them absolutely [...]

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