Sunday, August 8, 2010

Animal Soup - A Mixed Up Animal Flap Book

We just laughed ourselves silly at this one. For whatever reason, it is always funny to combine two animal names into a silly one, and the accompanying illustrations here make it that much funnier. These are truly hilarious combinations - much, much better than my feeble imagination could have come up with. Considering the size of the book (slightly larger than a board book and just as durable) and simple text, this is aimed at younger children, but we all heartily enjoyed it.  

The layout itself is very simple. Each page poses the question: "What would I be if I had ... " and presents body parts/features from two very different animals.  The animals are featured on opposing pages with a giant flap on the right.  Lift that up and you get to see the permutation underneath. Bird + turtle = birdle. Squirrel + whale = squale. My personal favorite was the croctopus, with the upper body of the crocodile looking perfectly normal floating along, but with all those octopus legs dangling down under the water's surface.

I would love to see another book with even more animals from this same author. With only seven animals, the end came far too quickly. Besides the birdle, squale and croctopus, we are also introduced to a flamonkey, tigeroceros, gorillican and girelephant. After that, we tried to think up our own combos, but we really need the doodling power of Todd. He draws the best giant eyeballs and clutchy paws. He makes the pelican look friendly and the squirrel kind of neurotic, but in a sweet way.         

From the press release: Todd H. Doodler is a professional doodler. His doodles can be seen on clothing, as well as on paintings, as cartoons, and in fun books. So do you think his last name is real?

Review copy provided by Random House. 

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