I’m going to keep short the introduction to today’s featured picture book, Animal Masquerade (published by Kids Can Press in March and originally published under the title Au carnaval des animaux), ’cause it’s just so fun that I want to get right to it.
Well, she’s back with a similar book. Similar, that is, in terms of format — it’s another small, square, snug book. But it’s also similar in that, once again, there’s really no dramatic action or complicated narrative thread to speak of here. This time there’s an animal masquerade—”Disguises are a must!”—and each animal chooses a disguise, as you can see below in the art featured here today. As with the last book, page turns are the stars here; each animal’s disguise is revealed after each turn. This propels the book forward with a brisk energy. There’s occasional funny commentary, such as: “The hen didn’t dress up. She didn’t understand a thing. (She isn’t very smart.)” But, for the most part, the child reader can kick back to enjoy the surprises and costume-reveals. And revel in the deliciousness of an animal masquerade. (To be clear, some human animals are involved, too, as well as chocolate cake — perhaps even one disguised as another, as you can see below.)
“For kids who never tire of driving one joke into the ground,” writes K.T. Horning in The Horn Book review, “this is the perfect book—and for their adults, there are enough surprises to make that one joke tolerable for repeated readings.” Here’s that review in its entirety.
And here’s some art (rendered in pencil crayon). Enjoy.
Selections from ANIMAL MASQUERADE, written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc, reprinted by permission of Kids Can Press Ltd., Toronto. Text and illustrations copyright © 2012 (English translation) Marianne Dubuc.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
1) Seeing good friends yesterday.
2) Seeing an old Hayao Miyazaki film at a great Nashville theater with said friends and all our kids.
3) Seeing more good friends, who ended up cooking us delicious food, ’cause they’re kind and talented like that.
4) Wait. Seeing a good friend on Friday, who surprised me with a belated birthday cake.
(Life is really all about good friends, good family, and good food, yes? Throw in some music, art, and books, and you’re just SET.)
5) According to the people who live with me, I go through this musician is a genius and do not SPEAK while the music is playing phases with my music (I guess it’s true), and I currently dwell in that phase with Rufus Wainwright’s new Mark Ronson-produced CD. It’s a pop gem is what it is — a little bit of 1970s’ Elton John here, a little bit of Young Americans there, a bit of funk, some R & B, some doo-wop, some soul, and some strong occasional channeling of Harry Nilsson to top it all off. But still all Rufus, all the time. If that makes sense.
The smart Ann Powers over at NPR really nailed his genius with this:
Great melodicists aren’t as common as you’d think. With so much music already out there, it’s easier for songwriters to simply weave together old earworms, rather than going somewhere new. Wainwright has never done that. As historically minded as he may be, steeped in the traditions of both the symphony hall and the Montreal nightclub, Wainwright has formed a language of his own by constantly pushing against conventional song structures, building new forms that seemed to mirror his own complex interior monologues.
I wish he’d come with his big ‘ol, beautiful piano and play at the Ryman in Nashville. I really do. Come on, Rufus. Come to Nashville. COME TO NASHVILLE.
‘Cause, you see, if Rufus came to Nashville, I could enjoy goodness like this below. (I like this so much. It’s what first turned me on to his music. I feel like SURELY I’ve posted this previously at 7-Imp, but ah well…)
“I’m just a little bit heiress, a little bit Irish / a little bit Tower of Pisa whenever I see you / So please be kind if I’m a mess…”
THAT VOICE. Also, if I played piano like that, I don’t know if I could stand my own awesome-ness.
6) I really enjoyed listening to this conversation and these songs.
This makes me laugh:
I’ve always said green chalk tastes like hippies.
We have four microphones, two voices and two guitars. That’s how we make records and it freaks people out. I’ve come to believe that there’s this other element, which is the sum of its parts which are things like the air, the room, the atmosphere. These things enable us to make these little landscapes and soundscapes, which is interesting to us.
What are YOUR kicks this week?