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ANIMALS HOME ALONE by Loes Riphagen

ANIMALS HOME ALONE

By Loes Riphagen (Author) , Loes Riphagen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-934734-55-1
Publisher: Seven Footer Press

In this mostly wordless title, a bunch of animals get up to some mild mischief when the humans in the house go out, with all the shifting action taking place in one room—something akin to The Cat in the Hat meets Where’s Waldo? The idea is to register the changes to the setting as the animals conduct their monkey business: the bear coming to life and crawling out of its picture frame, the bird zipping about after the toothy moth, a threesome of devilish cockroaches knocking over a jam jar and splashing toilet water on the cat (a sad folly on their part). Much of the effectiveness of the book comes from the stage that Riphagen has set; it's a room with blood-red walls, busy but not so much as to overwhelm someone looking for the changes from page to page, and painted in strangely translucent color as vivid as lollipops. The characters are good and quirky, somewhat primitively drawn with an emphasis on their noses, each with eyes like a halibut’s. Riphagen wisely deploys a few red herrings; readers will be waiting for that little toy elephant to come to life or the lobster to launch itself from the wall, but no dice. In the end, the author/illustrator issues a memory quiz aimed at the youngest readers. In all, this should deliver the engagement goods for a number of readings. (Picture book. 4-8)