If You're Happy and You Know It: Jungle Edition

James Warhola, Author, James Warhola, Illustrator . Scholastic/Orchard $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-72766-2

While their oblivious mother reads a book on a nearby bench, two children bring a jungle-themed playground to life by singing the well-known title song. At the sound of, "If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet," an elephant slide suddenly transforms into a real pachyderm who stands on its hind legs and clomps. When the song urges everyone to "give a roar," a lion seesaw springs to its feet and does just that, each animal joining the fray. The fantasy reaches a fever pitch with games of leapfrog and belly-crawling and then seems to draw to an end when Mom rises from the bench, gives a stretch and declares it's time to go home. But Warhola (Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol ) slyly hedges his bets—maybe the playground really has turned into a jungle. Although the human characters feel a tad wooden and schematic, Warhola's animal cast possesses all the genial high spirits that readers know from his previous books. The elephant, by virtue of his sheer size, especially steals the scenes—he's a literal party animal. Ages 3-5. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/12/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Children's
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