[Review Copy Courtesy of A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers]
In 1988, Judi and Ron Barret created Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing to help out parents everywhere in answering the universal and boggling question, “Why don’t animals wear clothing?” It’s a very funny book that makes us giggle and provides some solid examples as to why it would be a bad idea for animals to wear clothing.
Now in 2018, Judi and Ron Barrett are back with even more reasons as to why, despite all of our scientific and technological progress these past thirty years, it is still a terrible idea for animals to wear clothing — and they’re still very funny — and arguably solid ones.
Using the format of a simple phrase beginning with, “because” on one side, and beautiful and realistically absurd images on the opposite side, each spread is entralling for little ones to read over and over again. Each image begs readers to challenge the proposed reasons as to why clothes won’t work for animals.
The four-to-eight age range is such a fun time because children aren’t entirely sure what’s real and what isn’t — and this book perfectly caters to these ages and lets them explore and compare their sense of reality to what’s presented in front of them. Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing lets them test their own theories while giggling and laughing the entire time.
While it only has fourteen short phrases, I’m impressed that our first read through took almost 45 minutes and our second read through was another 20. My boys were having such wonderful time giggling, talking, debating, and pondering – it was easy to lose track of the time. Subsequent read throughs have been much shorter, but each reading is still full of stops, starts, questions, and observations.
The repetition of certain parts of the phrases, corresponding images that give hints of what the words say, and reading it several times in a row — makes it possible for young children to memorize it quickly and then joyfully and proudly “read” it back to adults.
It also has a great combination of sight words, relevant images, and a few advanced words to make for an easy and satisfying read for older children and budding readers.
Most of the images are of the animals right before something is going to happen — the horse tripping on shoelaces, the frog’s pants falling away, a spider realizing that the web is stuck to their clothing, a flamingo about to trip on a feather boa, the catepillar seeing a mountain of socks fall out of the washer, etc. The way these moments are captured evokes some serious surprise and anticipation for the readers as to what is going to happen next. It is mesmerizing to watch young children as they are able to understand what is most likely going to happen. I can’t think of any other books off the top of my head that create such a sense of “oh no!” anticipation and giggles in my children.
Like Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing is brilliant and engrossing. We love the humor, wit, conversations, and incredible illustrations. It’s so much fun to read with the kids and it’s amazing watching how this book causes them to stop and think about why some things are the way they are and how it would look like otherwise. This picture book is a fantastic exericise in imagining answers to “Why?”, “What If?”, and “Why Not?”
It’s out today and I hope you get a chance to read it and experience it with the children in your life.
Recommended Ages 3 to 8+. A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers. March 2018. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-1481488662 Fiction.
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Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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