Friday, February 10, 2012

Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc

I earlier reviewed Marianne Dubuc's In Front of My House and loved the unique sequential storyline.

Dubuc has a similar structure in her new story, but it's even more storytime-friendly, if that was possible.

The animals are going to a masquerade, starting with the lion, who, after much thought, decides to as an elephant. Of course that means the elephant will have to go as something else, say...a parrot! Then the parrot needs a disguise, and so on.

Dubuc's pencil crayon drawings are colorful set against stark white backgrounds. The text is oversized, perfect for beginning readers to try out their reading skills.

This title is longer than the average picture book, but it zips by fast, flicking from animal to animal. The natural breaks keep the progression from bogging down or getting too repetitive. There's a hilarious episode several pages long with Little Red Riding Hood and a bear, we learn that flowers don't wear disguises, and there are occasional interjections and humorous asides. The story isn't just animals either, familiar fairy tale characters and a few other surprises pop up along the way.

There are so many ways to use this book in programs and storytimes! Have children guess the coming animal, have them read the names of the animals if you're practicing print awareness, have them draw their own disguised animals, make masks and/or costumes, make your own progressive books, pass out pictures of various animals and have them draw disguises and make up their own stories to go along with the pictures, the list goes on and on!

Verdict: A unique and lovely little book. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781554537822; Published March 2012 by Kids Can Press; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates; Purchased for the library

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