Thyra Heder

Book - 2013

Little T remembers that she was frightened last time her family visited the zoo but not why, so her creative family helps by imitating animals from A to Z until she recalls exactly what caused her fear.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Picture books
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers c2013.
Physical Description
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 27 cm
Main Author
Thyra Heder (-)
Review by Booklist Review

A big sister is going bonkers because it's a perfect day to go to the zoo, but her younger sister, Little T, is afraid. Afraid of what? She can't quite remember, but it's at the zoo. Mom, Dad, and the big sister launch a campaign to jog Little T's memory with some extremely inventive props. A giant jellyfish made of an umbrella and streamers jiggles overhead. A cardboard rhinoceros charges. A snake with a vacuum-powered hiss slithers up. None of the animals manage to scare Little T, who thus determines that a trip to the zoo might not be so bad. Once they arrive, however, a scary surprise awaits, but this time it's Little T's big sister running away. That's OK, though, because there's a zoo's worth of handcrafted fun waiting at home. Heder tells a child-relevant story about facing your fears with a light hand and zippy prose, but it's her art that dials the zippiness up to 11, as her warm and humorously realistic figures gallivant alongside some remarkably envisioned handcrafted animal puppets.--Karp, Jesse Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Debut talent Heder comes up with a wildly imaginative idea for an alphabet book/animal guessing game, elaborates it with smartly drafted ink-and-watercolor spreads, and seasons it with plenty of family warmth and hullaballoo. Little T's mother, father, and older sister discover that she's reluctant to go the zoo, and they throw themselves into figuring out which animal she's frightened of. Adorning themselves with common household objects, they go right through the alphabet. "Can it give itself showers?" her hyper older sister asks, with two plastic bags on her ears and her arm held up like an elephant's trunk for E. "Maybe it's pink?" asks her father, skipping across the room in a pink tutu and pink Post-its stuck to his fingers, a fetching flamingo F. The picture of a family working together to cheer up its tiniest member, the identifiable elements of all the costumes, and the unexpected creature that Little T actually fears (a middle-aged ticket taker with menacing fingernails) all ring true-and readers will come away with some fine animal costume ideas, too. Ages 4-8. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The cut-and-paste, handmade look and feel of this picture book underscores its thematic ode to creative problem solving. Little T is about to embark on a much-anticipated trip to the zoo with her family when she freezes up with fear. Her parents call time-out and undertake a laugh-out-loud, over-the-top attempt to pinpoint exactly which animal she seems to be afraid of. Utilizing household objects, recyclables, clothing, and everyday art materials, Mom, Dad, and sister construct a madcap, A-to-Z range of costumes to determine which creature could possibly be thwarting T's desire to go to the zoo. "Does it jump in the road?" asks Mom, holding V-shaped tongs to her head simulating deer's antlers; "Does it live in the tropics?" asks Dad, crawling around the floor in an iguana costume constructed with cardboard tubes and paper bags. And so on until nightfall, when T declares her fears banished and now wants to go to the zoo. (Who wouldn't, after all those entertaining theatrics?) But when they arrive the next day, an encounter with a certain zoo employee sends T's sister into a panic, an ironic twist to T's resolution of her own fears. The charming, detailed watercolor and ink illustrations really tell the story, and children will relish poring over them to guess the animal costumes and identify their construction materials. Pair this with titles such as Antoinette Portis's Not a Box (2006) and Not a Stick (2007, both HarperCollins) to jump-start kids' own creative juices.-Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

Little T was frightened during her last visit to the zoo--of what she can't remember--so her family constructs a slew of creative zoo-animal costumes to puzzle it out. The dress-up guessing game is played out visually, with subtle textual hints to help readers guess. The watercolor and ink illustrations are as zesty as the text, and the surprising resolution is hilarious. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

What kid is afraid of going to the zoo? Little T, that's who. To find out exactly which animal Little T is so afraid of, her parents and older sister strike poses with household props and act out the unnamed, alphabetic animals A to Z. Little T laughs and giggles at their mimicking antics, saying "No" to each of the monkeyshines. Of course she winds up joining in the fun, and the family makes it to the zoo. The surprise ending is a hoot and will have readers laughing out loud. The witty watercolor-and-ink illustrations invent humorous clues: Dad mimes "alligator" with his arms; big sister decorates an umbrella with bubble wrap and pink streamers to make a "jellyfish." Nuanced details add whimsy, such as a black-and-white cat that meanders in and out of the scenes. Though the animals are never labeled in the story, the rear endpapers present pictures of each creature pinned to a bulletin board. Q stands for Quetzal; N for Narwhal; U for Unicorn; X and Y for Xantis Yak; V for Vampire Bat. WARNING: Expect riotous buffoonery after reading this clever and original alphabet story, as kids will definitely want to "parrot" the examples. (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.