cover image DOWN BY THE COOL OF THE POOL

DOWN BY THE COOL OF THE POOL

Tony Mitton, Author, Guy Parker-Rees, Illustrator , illus. by G

The sun may be setting, but the wackiness is escalating on the shores of the farm pond. "Wheeeee!" proclaims a wide-eyed frog as it jetés into the air, "Can you dance like me?" A duck, a pig and a sheep are the first animals to rise to the challenge, and Mitton (Busy Boats), building up the momentum, begins by patterning their respective responses in cumulative verse. As more and more critters join in, each proud of its own inimitable style ("Playful Pony began to prance. Donkey drummed his hoofbeat dance"), Mitton shifts the narrative's structure to move the action resolutely forward toward a literally splashy climax, in which everyone falls in the water. Parker-Rees (Giraffes Can't Dance) ratchets up the goofiness of his kinetic watercolor cartoons by giving his animal stars the arm and leg extensions of ballerinas but the bodies of couch potatoes; their faces radiate an infectious silliness. The typography, too, enters into the spirit by shimmying and bouncing through the full-bleed spreads. Kids will likely want to dance or chant along; fortunately, the author and artist wind down the energy as effectively as they turn it up. Ages 2-5. (May)