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A CRAZY DAY AT THE CRITTER CAFÉ by Barbara Odanaka

A CRAZY DAY AT THE CRITTER CAFÉ

By Barbara Odanaka (Author) , Lee White (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 9th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-3914-6
Publisher: McElderry

Havoc erupts in high-spirited fashion when the animals’ bus breaks down outside the local restaurant. In lively rhyme, raccoons lead the boisterous menagerie into the cozy café. Unfortunately for the chef and waiter, manners are lacking as the animals descend en masse. The cow skateboards down the stairs, the elephant band stomps in with tubas and the ostrich squawks for cherry strudel. The waiter’s spill sets off a disastrous chain reaction, causing the server to sneeze peas from his nose. When the critters are removed for their shenanigans, the staff rejoices until a dazed bovine emerges from the mess. The rhythmic phrases combine creative wordplay and natural pacing. Changing fonts emphasize the dramatic images. While never cluttered, White’s vibrant art conveys the disheveled environment. Muted, colorful backgrounds support the fluid mixed-media characters. Colorful splotches reinforce the sloppy surroundings; messy tables and flying food add amusing details. There are not too many cooks in this kitchen, as high-interest humor creates a rollicking read-aloud. (Picture book. 4-8)