One can easily guess from Lithgow’s admonishing title just what might be in store.
A boy and his family go to an outdoor concert in the park. However, the band shell happens to be right next to the zoo. (Cue disaster chord.) Suddenly, the animals storm the stage, knocking over the musicians and grabbing all of the instruments. Lithgow pleads with readers: “Oh, children! Remember! / Whatever you may do, / never play music right next to the zoo. / They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird, / desperate to play all the music they’ve heard.” The ferret plays the flute, the yak plays the sax, the bonobo plays the oboe (naturally), and the goat…well, the goat just eats the sheet music. Hernandez’s digital art shines during the frantic tussles between the orchestra members and the animals. They won’t give up their instruments without a fight! In an oft-used trope, the little boy finds out that he was just dreaming in the end. But that brings up Lithgow’s second most important rule: Never fall asleep during a concert!
Move over, Carnival of the Animals (illustrated by Boris Kulikov, 2004); here’s another snappy, yet lighter and younger, zoological fantasy to add to Lithgow’s repertoire. (CD included) (Picture book. 2-6)