Beep! Beep! Oink! Oink! Animals in the City

Patricia Casey, Author, Patricia Casey, Illustrator Candlewick Press (MA) $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-0306-9
For children accustomed to seeing animals in zoos or in more bucolic settings, Casey (I Like Monkeys Because...) has produced an oversized book of city-dwelling creatures. Bright, crisp drawings and an array of anecdotes cover a menagerie that includes the expected (pigeons) and the unexpected (a chicken who lives in a plum tree in a ""city backyard""). Each is described in simple language peppered with exclamation points and rhetorical questions to draw in the audience, and many tell of once-abandoned animals who have found an urban home. There are so many tales here, however, that they ultimately blur together. And children may have trouble recognizing any city they've encountered in this one (e.g., a ferret rides on a bus, a fox ravages a garbage can). But Casey's watercolor and ink double-page spreads, which range from comic-book style panels to full-bleed animal portraits, keep the pace from sagging. While her cartoon style lacks originality, she has an eye for comic action and the diversity of city life (in one vignette, set at the animal groomer's, a scruffy poodle gets a makeover worthy of Allure magazine). There's not much in the way of a story here, but animal lovers will find much to pore over in these pages. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Hardcover - 41 pages - 978-0-7445-4444-2
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