From Publishers Weekly
Schoolchildren imagine themselves as chimps, whales and butterflies in this fantasy. The layout builds suspense, with ellipses preceding each page turn: If I could have a spiky spine/ I'd get to be a.../ porcupine! thinks a girl as she brushes her unruly hair and then, in animal form, has luxurious spines combed by a patient bunny. The children's choices sometimes improve their lives, as when a nerdy boy walks past two teasing kids: For just one day, if I could dare,/ I'd be a growling grizzly.../ bear! I'd give my brother quite a scare,/ if I could be a grizzly bear. (As a bear, he cups the bullies—who have turned into mice—in his paw.) Evoking 1970s illustration, Boutavant's (All Kinds of Families!
) eccentric digital art features lithographs' grainy textures, fine lines and saturated colors; his doe-eyed, bobble-headed characters resemble the kids from the Love Is... comic. Leuck (I Love My Pirate Papa
) crafts bubbly if predictable verse; a mirror on the final page helps salvage a wordy conclusion about preferring to be/ that special someone, that is.../ me! Up to age 4. (Oct.)
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