A knowledgeable mother turns the tables on her balky son by pointing out what animals DO.
As the appealing cover shows, animal-loving Ben likes to pretend he’s wild himself. He won't clean his room until his mother reminds him that as a beetle, he'll have to clean up elephant dung. He pretends to be a penguin that won’t eat his lasagna until his mother pretends to barf up fish for him. And so forth. The animals and their actions are well-chosen for child appeal. Pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor wash combine realistic images with the fantasy of this parent-child game. Both the people and the creatures in Derrick's art have plenty of attitude. The pace of storytelling varies. Most episodes take two double-page spreads, but others conclude more quickly. Although the narrative threatens to end predictably, with baby chimps rocking in their bedtime nests, there’s a surprise: Dawn comes early for roosters. The parent-child dialogue is indicated by different typefaces, and the illustrations include irresistible animal noises from Bzztt! to Oohh Eee Ooh, just asking for repeat listeners to chime in.
The clever premise of this well-worked-out story is likely to appeal as much to adults as to the children they get to share it with. (Picture book. 4-7)