Naming the Animals

Gardner McFall, Author, Steven Guarnaccia, Illustrator
Gardner McFall, Author, Steven Guarnaccia, Illustrator Viking Children's Books $13.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-84814-0
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
This slice of the Creation story focuses on Adam's creativity as he names the animals according to their appearance or behavior. Luckily for the reader, McFall's Adam has some imagination. ``Adam said, `Your size is extravagant, your trunk quite elegant. I'll call you the elephant.' '' And ``A creature fluttered by on yellow wings, `Oh, you are the butterfly.' '' Not all namings are as ingenious; indeed, some are a bit of a stretch. The lion is named for its roar: ``errL-L-I-I-O-O-O-N.'' Generally, though, the wordplay is thoughtful and fun. Guarnaccia uses chalk on grainy paper in a buoyant style recognizable by its vivid colors and zigzaggy, contemporary lines. The book ends with a sly joke as the recently named snake hovers portentously over the sleeping Adam. A sly doubt lingers, too: if names are the consequences of things, could someone named Gardner McFall help but write about Eden? Ages 3-8. (Mar.)
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