PLAYMATES by Jean Bethell

PLAYMATES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Animal ""playmates,"" that is--in an album of coyly-to-ridiculously-captioned photos. Some of this, indeed, is sheer play-on-words: opposite a photo of two tree frogs leaping, we see one dachshund jumping over another (who, as it happens, is quietly resting): ""Are these dachshunds playing leapdog?"" Others play on animals' photographic resemblance to people. Two prairie dogs squat on their hind legs, front legs upraised: ""These two prairie dogs are--playing basketball?"" A squirrel bends over a rabbit's ear (in one of the many quite obviously posed photos): ""Squirrel tells rabbit a secret."" Elsewhere animals actually do play--per the kangaroos boxing, the polar bears wrestling--but Bethell can't leave well enough alone: various animals, we're told, ""like sports."" It's forced, it's unnatural, and as regards animal behavior, plain distortive.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1981
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston