How to solve the mystery of this identity crisis?
“I looked in the mirror when I got up today / And saw that my skin was all wrinkled and gray. // Has my mirror become weird? Do I have a disease? / Am I somebody else? Will you help me out, please?” The only partially seen narrator promises each page will have clues to his identity and then begins a process of elimination. “I’m not a sad rattlesnake running away. / And I’m not a crocodile playing croquet.” He’s not a bumblebee or a cockroach or a platypus watching his weight, but he will eat any peanuts offered. “I’m not an orange butterfly using a spoon. / I’m not a wet octopus playing bassoon.” He continues mentioning animals he’s not…until he thinks he hears someone mentioning “pachyderm.” He may look like an elephant, but things aren’t always what they seem. A zipper reveals the truth: a narrator who is just as gray as an elephant but far less wrinkly. Smith goes to town with his goofy guessing game. The thickly outlined, gleefully bizarro watercolor cartoons, some embellished with speech bubbles, extend the silliness of the animal examples in the narrator’s “clues.” Even with the cheat ending, audiences will enjoy the rhyme nearly as much as the foolish pictures.
More fun than a pig in underpants. (Picture book. 3-6)