FICTION

Wild About You!

Wild About You! illus. by Marc Brown. 40p. Knopf. Aug. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-307-93178-8.
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PreS-Gr 2—Sierra and Brown are back with their third title featuring amiable zoo animals. This time these denizens are all having babies, all except the tree kangaroo and the pandas. Even though some parents say that the babies are bothersome, none of them will give theirs up to the childless ones. When a van from Animal Rescue delivers an endangered egg, all of the birds refuse it, but the tree kangaroo offers her pouch. After a while a baby penguin hatches. The kangaroo loves it completely but acknowledges that she needs help raising it. Penguins eat fish and that is not something she is capable of supplying. The other animals are happy to lend a hand. That leaves the pandas as the only childless couple. A small kitten finds Ms. Panda and quickly adopts her. And again the other animals pitch in with Mama Tiger providing milk for the little one. This is an upbeat adoption story. The punch line is, "Every kid needs a family, we know that it's true./And to bring up a baby… it takes a whole zoo!" The joyful illustrations feature the same pointy-faced animals as in the two previous books. The pictures are done with watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils on wood panels. Fans of Wild About Books (2004) and ZooZical (2011, both Knopf) will flock to this one as well.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
When the zoo animals start having babies, two pandas and a tree kangaroo bemoan their childless state. Soon, however, the three find themselves with families that aren't what they expected. Sierra's rhymes include plenty of surprises; Brown's illustrations feature a gently colored palette and little patterns. Like the duo's Wild About Books, this title is good both for group sharing and as a bedtime story.
When all of the other animals in the zoo start having babies, a pair of pandas and a tree kangaroo bemoan their childless state. After the tree kangaroo welcomes an unusual egg into her pouch and the pandas adopt a kitten, the three grown-up animals find themselves with families that aren't quite what they expected. They rely on the other zoo creatures to help feed and nurture the little ones, providing a neat twist to the story. Sierra punctuates the rhyme scheme with plenty of surprises, from "pouchy" (the kangaroo) and "grouchy" (the pandas) to the crocodiles' warning about the drawbacks of offspring: "They won't do a thing that you want them to do / And on top of all that, they make mountains of poo." Brown's illustrations feature the style he made famous back in his Arthur days, but with a gently colored palette and lots of little patterns. Children will love one spread in particular in which the baby animals are hiding but can be spotted by observant eyes. Like Sierra and Brown's Wild About Books, this is a good choice both for group sharing and as a loving bedtime story. susan dove lempke

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