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!”
From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.