PIG GIGGLES AND RABBIT RHYMES: A Book of Animal Riddles

Mike Downs, Author, David Sheldon, Illustrator , illus. by David Sheldon. Chronicle $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8118-3114-7

In this simple but sharp joint debut, Downs and Sheldon make a game of rhyming word pairs. Each right-hand page asks two questions and insinuates the answers in a crafty cartoon. For example, as a jaunty purple kangaroo and a rust-brown bird use a boardwalk shower on a sunny stretch of beach, the text inquires, "What do joeys use to wash their hair?/ What do hooting birds use to dry off?" The page's verso supplies the solutions in a curly typeface: "Kangaroo shampoo/ Owl towel." After a few tries, readers will get the hang of guessing what "an octopus like[s] to sip" (ink drink) or the name of "a crustacean musical group" (sand band). All told, Downs presents 20 riddles and a smattering of open-ended jokes (a blue canine and a green amphibian on the title page wonder, "What rhymes with dog?"). Resembling animation stills with their undiluted colors and refined edges, Sheldon's splashy, nearly three-dimensional illustrations add plenty of punchy fun. Ages 4-8. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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