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Review of Fun in the Sun

catrow_fun in the sunFun in the Sun
by David Catrow; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary   Holiday   32 pp.
5/15   978-0-8234-2945-5   $16.95

When the sun comes out, it’s time for a trip to the beach, in Catrow’s (I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, the Silly Dilly Songs books) inimitable, frenetic style. The main character (a human-like dog) packs up everything he’ll need and dons a baseball cap with a striped umbrella attached to the top. He also brings along his goldfish in its bowl, rolling along behind him on wheels. He boards a bus labeled “BEACH” and informs the man sitting next to him, “You, sir, have a silly hat.” Children will then naturally look at the man’s clearly silly hat and will investigate each of the other beach-bound riders, among them another dog who sits upright on a seat with a Frisbee in its mouth. Children can then follow each of these characters throughout the story, which is filled with sight gags and unexpected storyline twists, and only a few sentences: “Fun in the sun, fun in the sand, sand in the suit.” Catrow’s pencil and watercolor pictures feature jiggly outlines for an energetic effect, often set against luscious backgrounds of aqua sky and water, and a spectacular pink and orange sunset. From the dog struggling into his swimsuit (which falls down when he sucks in his stomach) through to the closing page, where it becomes obvious what the dog forgot to bring, this is a swimmingly funny outing.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke About Susan Dove Lempke

Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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