An astronomically tall tale in which a llama’s inability to control his appetite inadvertently creates a black hole.
Stutzman and Fox’s debut collaboration takes on the concept popularized by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri’s Dragons Love Tacos (2012), in which creatures’ dining preferences wreak havoc upon the world as we know it. It happens, more specifically, after Llama has eaten a gigantic pile of cakes, squeezed into too-small dancing pants, and then ripped his pants while dancing. The understated narration is passively critical of Llama’s choices, detailing the moments (“mistakes”) in which he could have made different choices in the past tense. The book’s exploration of consequences is muddled by the fact that readers are positioned alongside the narrative voice, which, in expressing disapproval of Llama’s choices, sounds somewhat fatphobic: According to the text, overeating is an “honest mistake” that leads to “the ultimate doom of everything.” However, Fox’s digital illustrations successfully utilize color and shape to simultaneously heighten the hilarity and the drama; Llama’s gigantic eyes and stubby legs belie the gravity (or lack thereof) of the world’s impending doom. The book itself is well-designed. Beneath the appropriately urgent-looking fluorescent orange dust jacket, emblazoned with the title in capital letters, Llama appears wearing intact pants in a spotlight underneath a disco ball, and the front and back endpapers contain clues about the fate of the world.
Will make Rubin and Salmieri’s fans split their own pants. (Picture book. 3-8)