You don’t say “sick as a dog” in Hound’s Glenn, and you’d better not say “pig out” in Pig City either. “‘[M]an’ is a serious cuss word,” as is “Boy.” And “woman’s” pretty dodgy in this world of small-town America re-imagined with animals. Tonton Jim’s fun chapter book for young readers is delightfully illustrated by artist E. Felix Lyon, and filled with the sort of quietly unobtrusive humor and puns that will keep adults and children happily amused. These animals are pretty peaceable, though the “boars hanging around outside that bar” might inspire some nervousness. Long memories cling to old rivalries where, in the bad old days, dogs chased pigs and birds, and even ate them. But these animals are more civilized now and their towns are peaceful places filled with shops, schoolteachers, an occasional gorilla, childish pranks and ancient cars... plus one “chopped and cherry” lowrider. Max and his friends are just out to have a good time. Their pleasant humor, the mishaps of unintended insults, and the clever resolution to a noisy disaster all join together with bright pleasing pictures and text that almost reads itself—remember sitting around the radio to listen to children's stories in the past? There’s a lovely mix of adventure, camp-fire storytelling (and the were-boy), parental generosity, and good old-fashioned fun, making this an easy and enjoyable book to share with children, or to give as a gift. The author’s light touch—as generous with puns as with lessons in good behavior—makes this one I’d happily recommend.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy and I offer my honest review.
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