If the line is long, there’s bound to be something good at the end, right?
The tale starts opposite the title page with a small frog, marked #50, looking up at a sign that requests “Please line up in single file.” Turn the page, and animals #49, lizard, through #37, porcupine, stand politely, clearly wondering what’s at the front of the line. As the numbers decrease, the size of the animals increases: #4 is hippo. Turn the page after #1, elephant, to a gatefold sign: JUMBO COASTER. Open the gatefold, and all of the animals are revealed standing in order on top of a whale as it performs a series of jumps and somersaults in and out of the water! Their ride ends just like a more conventional carnival ride, with various reactions: #3, the rhino, declares, “I’m getting back in line!” Humorous comments add to the fun throughout. The armadillo, #39, stuck behind the skunk, #38, complains, “It stinks!” The kangaroo, #19, has a baby in her pouch that cries, “Are we there yet?” Totally engaging, the book offers multiple forms of participation: the word chain game that #17, the panda, starts; counting; guessing which animal belongs to the tail that appears at the edge of the page on the right (revealed seamlessly with a page turn); size concept; good old anticipation.
It’s a whale of a fun ride! (Picture book. 4-7)