Denizens of the zoo become slaves to fashion, with predictably unfortunate results.
It’s just another day at the zoo, described here in robust colors, eye-catching settings, and a text type so anorexic, so pearly gray one needs magnifying glasses to simply locate it on the page. An elephant finds a beauty magazine that gives advice on removing wrinkles. She buys into the advice and soon looks like she has been inflated. The elephant passes the magazine along to the zebra, who learns her stripes are running the opposite direction of fashion. An overcoat takes care of that problem. So it goes with the panda’s dark circles and the snake’s outmoded skin and the monkey’s hair issues, with each corrective more disastrous than the last. A young human visitor, obviously out of fashion touch, brings the loopiness up short by telling them, “you have to be yourselves!” The message is as bald as the monkey (who went for the fully shaved look to guarantee there would be no hair in the wrong places), but subtlety is not the book’s strong suit. The animals just needed to stop for a second and look at one another to understand that if you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, no amount of clothing and makeup will help.
It rarely comes amiss to give superficiality a poke in the eye, but this is an awfully sharp stick. (Picture book. 5-9)