Review posted January 15, 2013.
Schwartz & Wade Books (Random House), New York, 2012. 36 pages.
2012 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #9 Picture Books
This book charmed me from the moment I saw it. I simply had to read it aloud. The story can be sung to the tune of "Froggie Went a-Courtin'," with a few adjustments. In place of "Uh-huh," you've got a refrain of "Oh No!" in very appropriate spots at the end of each verse, and other fun sound effects earlier in the verses.
The story is simple: Several animals fall into a hole, and can't get out, and it looks like Tiger will eat them. When each animal falls in, we have appropriate sound effects: "Ribbit-oops!" for frog; "Pippa-eek!" for mouse; "Soo-slooow!" for loris; "Grab on!" for sun bear (bending down a branch); and "Wheee-haaaa!" for monkey. When tiger comes to taunt them, anticipating his dinner, it's "Slop-slurp!"
But someone bigger than Tiger comes along to help, the tables are turned, and no one gets eaten. Will the animals help Tiger out of the trap? "Oh, no!"
Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann has outdone himself with the beauty of these illustrations. The book has so many elements great for a storytime picture book: A catchy tune or rhythm (if you don't want to sing it), fun sounds, repetitive and progressive story line with nice twists, animals they might not have known, and a turn-about story that will appeal to their sense of justice.
Now, there are some places where the exact tune has to be adjusted a bit. Personally, I found I was not capable of reading it straight, without putting it to the tune. Others may have better luck! But either way, this book begs to be read or sung aloud, and you will definitely want to share it with a child.