Animal Masquerade

Marianne Dubuc, trans. from the French by Yvette Ghione. Kids Can, $16.95 (120p) ISBN 978-1-55453-782-2
Dubuc’s collection of colored-pencil drawings of animals dressed up as other animals, a companion in tone and format to 2010’s In Front of My House, has two great virtues. The first is that it’s blissfully free of moral lessons—it’s simply animals on their way to a costume party. The second is that Dubuc’s supply of dorky costumes is nearly inexhaustible—there are dozens and dozens of them. When a lion sees an invitation for a masquerade nailed to a tree, he wonders what animal he should dress up as: “As a cat? As a chicken? As a toad?” When the page turns, readers see him in a homemade elephant costume. An actual elephant on the opposite page gives him a sharp look before deciding to go as a parrot, and on it goes (“The parrot went disguised as...”), with each new disguise revealed by a page turn. Dubuc’s inventiveness grows ever wackier: “The cow, the hare and the chipmunk went disguised as... A scary three-headed monster. The scary three-headed monster went disguised as... A tiny marmoset.” An unassuming gem. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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