There are so many things these colorful birds can do. Can you?
Each two-page spread is a riot of color, depicting several iterations of Toucan in motion as well as various other fauna and flora that he encounters and engages in mischief with. A score of little birds in rainbow colors watches him dance and sing and bang a frying pan. Toucan also slides and swings and does the cancan (on a stack of cans). He also skips and trips and flips and flops. When an excited kangaroo shows up, with an even more excited joey in her pouch, Toucan is challenged to imitate kangaroo’s kung fu moves. Other wackily drawn creatures appear to dance and party with Toucan. There’s Ewan, an unidentified big-eyed burnt-orange animal with a striped tail who might be a kinkajou, and his imperious aunts Shanti and Tanya. There’s a panda, salamander, goose and gander, and also a panther...or two. The pages are positively crowded with creatures who all dance in a vivid tangle with Toucan. And who else can dance with Toucan? You can. MacIver’s simple text has lots of bounce and phonic crunch. Davis’ illustrations, besides being colorful, effectively communicate motion and fun. American audiences may miss descriptions of the exotic animals depicted; this New Zealand import has no backmatter.
Read the book for its gleeful energy, but have one with antipodean animal descriptions on hand to answer questions. (Picture book. 3-6)