Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Julia Jarman and illustrated by Lynne Chapman

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-84362-600-8
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton/Trafalgar

After an inspiring trip to Paris, a kangaroo starts his own dance troupe. So hooked is Kanga that he returns to the same café to watch the gay French poodles perform the dance every night of his holiday. Back home in Australia, he feels a bit mopy…until he gets a brilliant idea! He decides to set up his own Cancan Café and sponsors a competition to find the best dancers. Pot-bellied pigs, a wombat, a charismatic croc and a platypus wearing a yellow boa all strut their stuff, hilariously depicted by Chapman. Once she overcomes her shyness, the native Australian emu proves to be the most skillful dancer, and Kanga’s new troupe consists of a chorus line of leggy emus, elaborately dressed. Crowds of diverse animals come from miles around to enjoy the Australian Cancan Café. Jarman’s concept is delicious (as are Chapman’s pictures), but her verse is a little clunky, scanning clumsily and offering such dubious rhymes as “fuss” and “platypus.” Still, this should amuse young listeners and prompt them to shake it. (Picture book. 3-6)