This rollicking fall frolic is sure to arouse a chorus of hearty negatives in every audience as children race to point out the mistakes in both the text and the illustrations.
Raczka has taken all the quintessential elements of fall and turned them topsy-turvy. From the staple treats of candy corn and caramel apples to the antics of the animals, nothing is sacred (or correct), including the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving: “Neighbors give stuffing and / drumsticks for treats. / Families give thanks / for a bounty of sweets.” But silly as the rhyming verses are, they need Cameron’s zany illustrations to truly make them come alive. After all, some of the mix-ups defy even the most active of imaginations: “Bears gather nuts. / Geese hibernate. / Squirrels fly south in / big figure eights.” Digital paintings with photo-collage elements draw readers’ eyes through the scenes, in which bears bend trees down to the ground with their heavy weight and squirrels with balloons tied around their waists soar through the sky. But the laughs don’t stop there—Cameron includes at least one wrong thing on each spread that is unrelated to the text. Observant readers just may spot them all.A true celebration of fall certain to be a winner with teachers and children alike; here’s hoping that the rest of the seasons will follow. (Picture book. 4-8)