cover image ROAR!


Tor Freeman, Author . Candlewick $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-

Inspired by her bedtime storybook, young Lotte assumes the identities of six different animals during the course of the following day. "Roar!" becomes her call of the wild—whether she is posing as lion, monkey or elephant. Like Janice May Udry's Is Susan Here?, Freeman (Pet Wash), in a similar premise, imagines Lotte as actually becoming the animal of her imagination (albeit a very cuddly version of the species), and Mom cheerfully goes along. She plays hide-and-seek with Lotte-the-elephant and gives Lotte-the-Bear a ride on the vacuum cleaner. But when the girl becomes an uncooperative crocodile, Mom's amusement wanes. "Crocodiles don't like to be carried upstairs. Roar!" Lotte booms at bedtime. "I'm not sure I like crocodiles," says Lotte's mother. Tensions ease when the child returns once more to her amenable girl-self—at least until lights out (a final spread shows her roaring as a penguin). The tidy acrylic, watercolor and pencil drawings exude an endearing coziness, and the visual variety (from double-page spreads to sequential spot illustrations) nicely counterpoints the unadorned, concise text. But while children should get a kick out of Lotte's one-kid menagerie, some budding nature lovers may wonder why she can only manage a single animal sound. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)