When Momo, a tiny brown monkey, and Snap, a remarkably long crocodile, first meet—with an “Eek!” and an “Ack!”—all they can think about is one-upmanship. They make daunting noises in an attempt to frighten each other (“Scree!” “Hiss!”) and challenge one another to feats of agility, artistry, and athleticism (including juggling, balancing, drawing, diving, and swimming). But when three hungry lions appear eager to turn Momo into a meal, Snap instinctively carries his rival to safety, launching a beautiful friendship. The text is composed entirely of the exclamatory sounds the two make; fishing barehanded, they declare “Yee haw!” and “Woo Hoo!” and they chortle away after the lions leave empty-handed. Unfortunately, Anderson’s decision to tell her story almost entirely along a single plane only highlights the flatness of her two heroes—who look more like cartoon marginalia than full-fledged characters—and their rather vanilla talents. Anderson (Cows in the Kitchen) milks some fun out of this duo’s competitive spirit, but there are funnier books available about rivalry and friendship. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013 Release date: 12/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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