Be Our Guest

Gray Malin. Abrams, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2930-0
The Parker Hotel “is very ORDINARY,” insists Maurice the concierge. “But we love it here.” Ordinary is definitely a relative concept in this instance: the hotel is staffed and visited entirely by animals (the guests include a camel, an ostrich, and a zebra), and Maurice, who takes readers on a tour of the premises, is a capuchin monkey. In his first book for children, Malin, who specializes in lush travel photography, has created a junior version of a coffee table book. The images, all shot on location at the actual Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, are saturated with color, the pool shimmers under the desert sky, and the lighting gives all the animals an old-school Hollywood glamour. The novelty of the concept never entirely overcomes the sense of posed inertness in the images, which may be why Malin’s text seems to be trying too hard, with unimaginative wordplay set in all-caps colored type (an elephant is “CHARGING ahead” to a party). There’s no denying, however, that Maurice has real star power, especially when he demonstrates the superiority of the Parker’s beds by jumping on them balletically and snuggling between the covers. Ages 4-8. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Board Books - 24 pages - 978-1-4197-4308-5
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