This rollicking fall frolic is sure to arouse a chorus of hearty negatives in every audience as children race to point out the mistakes in both the text and the illustrations.
Raczka has taken all the quintessential elements of fall and turned them topsy-turvy. From the staple treats of candy corn and caramel apples to the antics of the animals, nothing is sacred (or correct), including the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving: "Neighbors give stuffing and / drumsticks for treats. / Families give thanks / for a bounty of sweets." But silly as the rhyming verses are, they need Cameron's zany illustrations to truly make them come alive. After all, some of the mix-ups defy even the most active of imaginations: "Bears gather nuts. / Geese hibernate. / Squirrels fly south in / big figure eights." Digital paintings with photo-collage elements draw readers' eyes through the scenes, in which bears bend trees down to the ground with their heavy weight and squirrels with balloons tied around their waists soar through the sky. But the laughs don't stop there—Cameron includes at least one wrong thing on each spread that is unrelated to the text. Observant readers just may spot them all.A true celebration of fall certain to be a winner with teachers and children alike; here's hoping that the rest of the seasons will follow. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
With giddy abandon, Cameron's (A Day with No Crayons) bustling, mixed-media artwork has fun with this story's gleefully wacky premise. Moving from windswept, daytime panoramas to shadowy evenings, the pictures leave no doubt that much is awry this autumn: a boy bites into an orange apple as kids in a hot-air balloon attempt to capture leaves that rise rather than fall from trees. Raczka's (Guyku) merry, rat-a-tat verse reveals that animals' behavior is also askew: "Bears gather nuts./ Geese hibernate./ Squirrels fly south in/ big figure eights." Readers will eagerly scour illustrations to decipher the text's ramifications. On a spread in which "Hats cover hands./ Gloves cover ears./ Bonfires cool off our/ fronts and our rears," the children's reversed glove and hat placement is obvious; less so is the ice covering the marshmallows that they (and a snowman) roast over a fire. Even observant kids may not pick up on all of the art's switcheroos on the first read, and will gladly follow Raczka's parting directive to "Go back and find all the/ things that aren't right." Ages 4-9. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 2--Text and illustrations depict mixed-up imagery of autumn, as in "Apples turn orange./Pumpkins turn red./Leaves float up/into blue skies overhead." Soft-focus illustrations with occasional sharp collage elements show the zany world described by each verse. The last line of the book invites readers to go back and find "all the things that aren't right," but most of the errors have already been pointed out by the text. The mix-ups are silly and not particularly witty, and the book does nothing to evoke the feeling of the season or to shed light on any of its symbols. This is a gimmick book that will not bear repeated readings. With so many fall books available, it can easily be skipped.--Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL[Page 93]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.