Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim

I bought this title primarily because nobody else in my consortium had it and I wanted to read it, because I like tapirs, and because I wanted to play a joke on a colleague from the adult department who was subbing for me for a book club and told the kids tapirs were giant rodents (no, I am NEVER letting you live that down Chad. Heh heh heh). Of course, it's more a folktale than a factual tale and so it confused my cataloger who was trying to figure out what animal neighborhood it went in, especially as she's not so strong on animal identification either. Heh. If you're interested, tapirs are ungulates.

So, moving on! "This story took place long ago in a jungle where many animals lived." The animals make quite a ruckus, booming, trumpeting, stomping and just generally raising the canopy. All except the tapirs, who quietly mind their own business. But one day they are found by a jaguar. They run and run but it's not enough and they're just about to get caught when BANG! It's the hunter! The tapirs have pity on the jaguar and teach him their secret and they all....tiptoe...away together. And all the animals learn to tiptoe and the hunter goes away.

The swirling art is funny and intriguing. It's certainly not accurate - crocodiles, elephants, rhinos and apes don't live in the South American jungles with tapirs and jaguars - but it's fun just the same. The tiptoeing animals are a hoot and the swirling, splashy pictures are eye-catching.

Verdict: While not a required purchase, this story has a fun, folktale-feel to it and lots of fun sounds and actions. It would make a fun read-aloud in storytime and fills a niche for interactive stories about an unusual animal.

ISBN: 9780823433957; Published 2015 by Holiday House; Purchased for the library

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