Review of Animals in Pants

Animals in PantsAnimals in Pants
by Suzy Levinson; illus. by Kristen Howdeshell and Kevin Howdeshell
Primary    Cameron/Abrams    32 pp.
4/23    9781951836627    $17.99
e-book ed.  9781647009502    $15.54

A red-haired child introduces the picture book’s topic forcefully with a large word balloon before the title page: “What? YOU’VE NEVER SEEN ANIMALS IN PANTS?!?” Twenty-three very short and funny poems cover a wide variety of animals and the many types of pants they might wear. For example, the “downward dog” wears yoga pants while the polar bears wear snow pants, of course. The poems are both silly and clever, as in “Deep Thoughts,” where the speaker wonders, “If a snake yanked a sock to his face… / would we say ‘pant’ in that case?” The vibrant Photoshop illustrations are filled with textures and patterns, resembling a combination of collage and stamped art. The palette features orange, teal, yellow, and green, with lively postures and expressions on each of the dozens of animals’ faces. A final poem goes on for four pages with animals waiting and waiting for the tailor who is ­working on their pants, concluding, “The good news? / He’s fast for a sloth.” At the end, the red-haired child is back hinting at a sequel: “What? YOU’VE NEVER SEEN ANIMALS IN HATS?!?”

From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke
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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