Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie

Mary Ellen Jordan and Andrew Weldon. Albert Whitman, $15.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-8075-4400-6
Australian cartoonist Weldon and his partner Jordan present a farm where the animals behave in ways that deviate from the norm. Tidy verse focuses on one animal at a time: “This is my pig,/ she’s called Nancy./ She should like mud,/ but she’s too fancy./ Instead she stares/ at her reflection,/ ‘My oh my,/ you are perfection,’ ” reads one segment, as Weldon shows the pig gazing at herself through thick eyelashes and carefully combing the single hair on her head; elsewhere in her pen, earthworms and a mouse look on, and an unseen farmer unloads food scraps for this fancy Nancy’s next meal. With half-lidded eyes, quirky accessories, and sometimes menacing stares, Weldon’s animals could easily be neighbors to a farm run by Gary Larsen; readers only get brief glimpses of a few promising characters, including a duck with an Olympic medal and a sheep wearing roller skates and a top hat. The ending strikes a gentle note after all the light absurdity that precedes it; readers ought to look forward to a return visit to this one-of-a-kind farm. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Children's
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