I know I said I’d be reviewing middle grade books on this blog, but this picture book is just too irresistible. Can YOU roar like a dandelion? How is that, exactly, roaring like a dandelion?

This is an ABC book by Ruth Krauss, a widely known children’s book author of a few generations back who died in 1993. It seems someone found this charming manuscript, located just the right illustrator, and published it. I’m so glad they did.

Instead of nouns, like a typical ABC book might have, this one uses verbs. For A, B, and C for example we have Act, Butt, and Crow. Ms. Krauss transformed those into oddball sentences. A whimsical illustration shows a whale blowing water on a mouse (Act like a sprinkler in summer). Then there’s a tiny bunny head-butting a huge rhinoceros (Butt like a billy goat). And there’s a rooster operating a puppet show for four laughing chicks (Crow like a rooster, make the sun come up.)

And so on, whimsy and oddball ideas right and left. At the end, Vote for yourself, Walk backward all the way home, Yell “Good morning, big fat world,” and Zip Zip Zip Zip Zip (a fly darts all over the place).

The illustrations fully carry their weight in this collaboration. Sergio Ruzzier’s art has been compared with Maurice Sendak’s early work.

Now, I don’t have a little person to read this book to, but as soon as such a person shows up, I will read it to them. It’s just so delightfully oddball.

To see into the mind of the illustrator, read this blog post interview: http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=4981

I’ll give it five stars: * * * * *

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@Barrie Summy
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