The Great Indoors

illus. by Ruth Chan. 40p. Disney-Hyperion. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368000833.
PreS-Gr 2—In this humorous twist on the phrase "the great outdoors," a menagerie of forest animals move into a home to enjoy the great indoors. The beavers move into the kitchen to cook and provide snacks, while the deer dance along with a karaoke machine. The skunks enjoy the electricity and cell phone reception, and the beavers are happy to be dry. The moose welcome the noise, and the bears work on projects with power tools. Before long, though, the benefits of the great indoors begin to wear thin. A beaver complains: "My thumbs hurt from playing Dam Builder 4 all day," the kitchen is a mess, and a bear breaks the bed. Finally, in a wordless double-page spread, the animals' facial expressions convey their frustration amid the chaos. The animals miss the outdoors but heartily agree to come back next year. The final pages reveal a human family approaching the door, relieved to be home and about to encounter their wrecked home after, what must be assumed, their vacation in the great outdoors. Cartoon-style illustrations and speech bubbles, alongside humorous illustrations (such as the bear working on a honey purifier), make this one a winner.
VERDICT A laugh-out-loud title that's sure to be a hit with older preschoolers and early elementary students.

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