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MR. PEEK AND THE MISUNDERSTANDING AT THE ZOO by Kevin Waldron

MR. PEEK AND THE MISUNDERSTANDING AT THE ZOO

By Kevin Waldron (Author) , Kevin Waldron (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4549-6
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

One morning, Mr. Peek, the mustachioed zookeeper, dons his son’s small jacket by mistake, pops a button and spends the next hours feeling fat, old and paranoid. As he makes his rounds, denigrating his fat old self, the zoo animals think he’s talking to them… to highly distressing effect. “All that terrible food you eat will be the end of you!” Mr. Peek proclaims too near the recently fed penguins. “Look how wrinkly you are,” he says within elephants’ earshot. The 17-page foray into adult neurosis reverses when he figures out the jacket mix-up and repeats his rounds, now uttering self-confident proclamations such as, “You look fine just the way you are.” However, since the resulting reassurance of the animals is just as accidental as the initial wounding, the story ends up feeling flip and flimsy. The digitally crafted illustrations—a delightful cross between Calef Brown and J. otto Seibold—are packed with quirky, comical details and a fun-to-spot cat. A jaunty but disconcertingly adult read-aloud that could generate, along with a few giggles, a discussion of misunderstandings. (Picture book. 4-8)