1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

Well call me a monkey's uncle.  This book was not what I expected. 

*Spectacular watercolor imagery on almost every page (the seals didn't do it for me)
*The small train running across the bottom border that keeps track of all the animal transport cars thus far
*That same train leaving the zoo empty after dropping off all the animals 

*The only word in the whole story lies on a balloon vendor's umbrella (I won't spoil the surprise for you by giving it away, not that it makes much of a difference)
*Speaking of that vendor, he seriously creeps me out with his iron-shaped face, zombie stare, see-thru apron, and bow-tie
*There is a conductor on the title page;  unlike the animals, he does not get represented in the bottom border train thereafter

I hate to be so cliche, but if ever there was a book you shouldn't judge by its cover, it's this one.  The front image is very enticing, what with its fabulously drawn lion towering over a tiny train. Meanwhile, on the back cover, there is a bubbly description that makes you want to crack it open and start reading.  And therein lies the problem.  There are NO words!  I can't tell you how pissed I was when I started 'reading' this to my son and there wasn't anything to read.  Sure... I improvised and pieced together a story using the pictures in front of me.  But that's not an acceptable outcome for someone who goes to the store and plunks down $10.  Even in my case (a trip to the library), it serves as an exercise in frustration. Give me a CLEAR disclaimer -- that's all I'm asking.  Calling it a counting book (intentionally vague in my estimation) doesn't automatically lead someone like myself to think it's a numbers only affair.  For its crime, I sentence this Eric Carle work to a life behind bars without the possibility of parole.  Ideally, that time will be served in the back of an elephant enclosure under a pile of dung. No appeals grounded in the argument of "you could have thumbed through it first" will be heard in this Amazon Age where you can't always try before you buy.               

Buy / Borrow / Donate / DESTROY

1 comment:

mysteryguy said...

Look, there have been a couple of Donates that might seem worse than this one overall, but the no words thing really angers me. Had Carle only included a few words, this would have been a Borrow I'm betting, but, alas, he did not.