A young boy describes all the animal pals his family members have.
With bouncing rhymes that sometimes miss the rhythm, the narrator introduces readers to each member of his extended (and all-white) family and his or her animal buddy as they pile into an increasingly crowded old-fashioned station wagon. Dad has an elephant, the narrator has a brown bear, his sister’s friend’s a whale, and brother has a purple dino. Already pretty stuffed, the car somehow manages to fit, one by one, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin, Grandma, Grandpa, and the family dog, all of whom add animals of their own (even the dog has one: a puppy). “Look! My cousin’s kangaroo / Has a switch that makes it hop. / Perhaps the switch is broken… / The hopping just won’t stop!” Observant readers with two-parent families may notice who is missing and guess the reason, especially with the addition of two polar bear cubs along the way, but as to why they are meeting in what looks like a park, there is no clue. Dodd’s pen-and-ink–and–Photoshop artwork is marked by her usual round faces, black outlines, and bright colors. Adults may keep waiting for the punch line that all the animals are stuffed (especially considering that dino and the whale), but it never comes.
A very odd book indeed. (Picture book. 3-5)