A scraggly-looking bird brings two lonely creatures together on a moonlit beach in this offbeat tale.
The bird narrates in an affected mix of prose and verse—“It was then that I heard the brush shuffle and saw the dust fumble. I smelled large teeth and felt a slight rumble! Was it a lion? Oh yes! Oh yes! Now I see.” With an optional audio, the tattered-looking avian describes persuading Mowly the lion and Khody the whale to meet after listening separately to their rhymed whining. In gloomy, distorted illustrations that resemble Mervyn Peake’s art (Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor, 2001, the Gormenghast trilogy, etc.), both animals, rendered with wildly exaggerated proportions, radiate misery even during the climactic wordless pirouette that demonstrates the titular proposition. Their arranged tryst is likely to be less interesting to younger audiences than a resettable side game in which the author places 30 smaller animals in various scenes to be tapped and “collected” to open a hidden coloring page. Most scenes also feature minor animations and sound effects.
The strangeness of the art and writing may draw a few readers. (iPad storybook app. 5-7, adult)