Sonderbooks Book Review of

What's Your Favorite Animal?

by Eric Carle and Friends

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What's Your Favorite Animal?

by Eric Carle and Friends
Review posted May 14, 2014.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2014. 36 pages.
Starred Review

What’s Your Favorite Animal? is simply good fun. A collection of 14 fabulous illustrators of children’s books answered that question and provided a picture to go with it.

Many, such as Eric Carle, Peter Sis, Peter McCarty, Steven Kellogg, Susan Jeffers, and Erin Stead, give us a little story explaining their choice. Steve Kellogg says, “My older sister had claimed horses as her favorite animal, so I chose cows.” Erin Stead tells us, “I like how penguins seem confidently awkward on land but then glide so swiftly and expertly underwater.” Peter Sis gives us a heart-warming story of blue carp at Christmas time in the Czech Republic.

Nick Bruel goes with cartoon panels, telling us about the charms of octopuses – until Bad Kitty interferes. Rosemary Wells also uses panels, to show us the favored positions of a dog on my bed. Tom Lichtenheld gives us a limerick about giraffes.

I think my favorite picture is Jon Klassen’s duck. Those eyes. Classic Klassen.

The rest are quite short. Chris Raschka’s lovely snail, Lane Smith’s show-off elephant, and Lucy Cousins’ beautiful leopard are simply explained. But shortest of all is the entry by Mo Willems, with a picture of a snake with a bump in the middle: “My favorite animal is an Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink. (It is also this snake’s favorite animal.”

This would require time for discussion in a storytime, and I think would work better shared one-on-one, or with a child to pore over in private. An elementary school art class could have a good time with it. Of course, it begs the question, “What is your favorite animal?”