A quirky quartet of amusing animals.
Simple rhymed text and colorful, digitally rendered illustrations combine to present a serial assortment of animals in this playful offering by first-time author-illustrator Shaskan. A smattering of realistic and fantastic snippets on behavior, personality and appearance is provided for each animal (“A dog is a dog, / whether it’s naughty… / … or nice. / Whether it suns on the beach, / or glides on the ice”), accompanied by wry illustrations that will have readers giggling. The text seamlessly segues as the illustrations show each animal humorously transforming into the next one: “A dog is a dog, if it’s skinny or fat. / A dog is a dog, unless it’s a… / CAT!” Appealing, retro-inspired illustrations are the focus here; gentle humor, whimsy and lively wit emanate from the skating pup, mischievous cat, jet ski–riding squid and frolicking moose. The seemingly random choice of animals will surprise and charm, and while the descriptions of the animals are a tad insubstantial, the simplicity and clarity of the text makes this a good choice for the very young; it’s easy to imagine a toddler enjoying this while seated on a mom or dad’s knee. Overall, an energetic debut.
Young animal lovers are in for a treat. (Picture book. 2-5)