FICTION

Animalicious: A Quirky ABC Book

Penguin Workshop. Apr. 2019. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781524792053.
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Gr 1-3–Like Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter’s recent P is for Pterodactyl, this book isn’t about teaching letters or sounds at all. Animalicious uses the alphabet book structure for fun wordplay, hilarious illustrations, and many, many portmanteaux about “…animals of every single kind./This book contains some special ones/that you won’t often find.” For example, in these pages you’ll find a dust bunny, flatapus, elephantom, macawbre, and pearrot. Boldt’s humorous illustrations are instrumental in making the portmanteaux work. The pearrrot is clearly pictured as a pear parrot mix; the piethon is eating a pie; the snorca is a sleeping orca; and the spyder has a magnifying glass. The use of white space, plentiful detail, varied colors, and interactive placement add to the artwork’s effectiveness. There is a wide variety in the the humor (most of which hits the mark) and for the age group who will get the jokes, but there is something for everyone.
VERDICT This joke book masquerading as an ABC book will be a hit with young elementary aged word lovers

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