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Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's An Orange Aardvark! Written and illustrated by Miichael Hall. Greenwillow Books, Harper. 2014. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"Wait. What if there's an
aardvark out there?

Aardvarks are gray and sneaky...
and they have long tongues
that are perfect for eating
carpenter ants, you know!

Goodness! I'm scared.
Gracious! Me, too.
Yikes! Same here."

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know how much I admire Michael Hall's previous three books: My Heart is Like a Zoo (Greenwillow, 2009), Perfect Square (Greenwillow, 2011) and Cat Tale (Greenwillow, 2012). You will then also be able to guess how happy I am to share his newest, brilliantly designed book about aardvarks, colors and silly speculation. It's wonderful fun, and worthy of your attention!

We know it's raining. Five little ants do not. They awaken with wonder, and speculate on what might be causing the noise by drilling a hole in the stump they call home. The hole should let them see what they are missing. One little ant is extremely cautious, sure that an aardvark awaits in secret, ready to use its long tongue to put an end to life as the ants know it. He is assured that a peephole should not be a problem.

Lo and behold, it isn't gray that they see. It is brilliant orange aardvark!! Only when they are really hungry for ants do they turn orange. Did you know that? Another hole is sure to offer up an additional clue. Now, it's blue...perhaps pajamas!

So it goes; each new peephole offers up a highly dramatic and new possibility. Careful listeners may guess where this story is headed, but it will do nothing to deter them from full enjoyment right to the very end.

The format, the incredible design and the full-out fun of the game this book provides is sure to have you reading it repeatedly, and eager young readers soon wanting to read it on their own...with all the drama and angst that is part of the repetitive text. The bold colors take up every inch of space on the book's full page spreads. Perfect!

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