Farmyard animals engage in flights of fancy in this debut picture book.
In the clever rhyming couplets, farm animals are introduced with their inventive dreams. The pig wants to fly; the mouse wants to go on Indiana Jones–type missions; the cat plans a heist; and the sheep negotiates with aliens for peace on Earth. On the left-hand page, the creature appears in a realistic watercolor and pen-and-ink painting. On the right, a full-page illustration in the same style shows the animal’s whimsical adventure: The duck, in a tie and glasses, gives a lecture on quantum physics to a bunch of chickens; the superspy horse, dressed in a hat, trench coat, and glasses, lurks near the corner of one of the barns, carrying a briefcase. Some of the dreams are believable—the cow hovers outside the farmhouse window to watch television, and the dog cavorts in a messy kitchen—but most are extravagant fictions sure to delight young readers with their absurdities. The verse uses a simple rhyme scheme and accessible vocabulary, flowing well from page to page. But Hendrick’s humorous, beautiful, and elaborate images are the real stars.
Imaginative children should love these animal escapades—and even sticklers for realism may find themselves laughing at the antics.