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The Laurie Keller Library, Vol. II

50 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.95. ISBN 9781338200393.
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K-Gr 3—In author/illustrator Laurie Keller's zany world, inanimate objects like states, doughnuts, and teeth are brought to life. In Arnie the Doughnut, the pastries in a bakery have personality. The powdered sugar doughnut has the drawl of a Southern woman, a bear claw growls, and a French cruller greets viewers with a bonjour. When Arnie is bought for breakfast, he convinces his new friend to spare him, and he assumes the character of a dog in a doughnut's body. Open Wide: Tooth School Inside depicts a classroom of teeth. Keller's books are full of marginalia rife with puns and minidramas. Animation brings an extra layer to the tales—imagine a tooth moving through the nine stages of reactions to a cavity, including panic, depression, and anger, made even more dramatic by voice actors. In Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners, a rabbit learns that his new neighbors are otters, and the news is shared with fear and the sound of blowing raspberries. This segment would be a great springboard to a discussion on how we treat others, especially those who are not like us. Bonus material includes an interview with Keller, who talks about her influences and her process. This high-quality production is enhanced by talented animators, actors, and music.
VERDICT Whether celebrating the sheer silliness of Keller's imagination or learning facts about teeth and good manners, this collection of rereleased videos will be a favorite among young viewers. Recommended for all elementary and public libraries.

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