Where are all the animals that keep making strange noises in this little girl’s house?
When a loud “QUACK” is heard as Daddy sits down to dinner, both mother and daughter look alarmed. Could that have been a duck he squashed? At least he said, “Excuse me!” And did the little girl hear a lion’s roar in her parents’ bedroom? All she finds is Daddy finishing a big yawn. She sees the silhouette of a gorilla in the shower and smells a hippo in the bathroom. The flummoxed girl asks her father about all the strange, hidden animals, and he responds cryptically, asking her if she’s ever “sailed on a walrus’s back through the sea” or “ridden a bald eagle up into the skies.” Here, readers see the girl happily riding on her father’s back while he swims and getting a ride up the staircase on her dad’s shoulders. The illustrations have the look of cut-paper collage and include such distinctive details as Daddy’s tattoo and heavy metal T-shirts. The verse is less openly subversive, carrying the fart and toilet jokes along in forced couplets. This book will work best with children old enough to understand that it’s her dad making all of these vulgar sounds (and smells); readers who share the little girl’s credulity will be as mystified as she is.
This silly but original story demonstrates that imagination can be both troubling and exhilarating. (Picture book. 4-7)