A children’s picture book that offers an assortment of animal cravings.
Morgan (Smile Rhymes, 2011, etc.) introduces several animals, one at a time, and the food they most desire: “There was a sassy duck who was tired of bland pond weeds. / He thought a fresh and tasty donut could really be what he needs.” A giraffe wants jelly beans; a cat wants cotton candy; a snake, a soft pretzel; a horse, some hot nachos; and a tiger, a piece of taffy. The author then sets up an answer in the form of a “message” to each animal (“We’ll happily provide for you some yummy donut facts. / They’re soft and round with a hole in the middle and all line up on racks.”). Then, in a kid-pleasing kicker, each animal replies with a happy, slurp-y close-up and the phrase, “Lickety lick. Slurpity slurp. Chew chew chew and a great big burp!” It’s easy to imagine that such a line could become a family bedtime favorite; unfortunately, however, it’s the best thing about the book. The book’s line-drawing illustrations show close-ups of a giraffe, horse or snake sticking out its tongue as if to lick, but they don’t adequately capture the animal’s spittle, which may make the drawings difficult for young readers to decipher. Overall, the strained verse never finds a steady rhythm, and overlong lines are burdened with extra phrases to make the rhymes work. “So let’s help our tiger friend with the trip that he has planned, / to find delicious taffy, with a message he’ll understand,” for example, doesn’t describe the tiger or the taffy; it merely repeats the book’s premise.
An occasionally catchy but awkwardly executed children’s book.