Douglas Florian is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator best known for his poetry collections, including Beast Feast, which received the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award; Mammalabilia, which received the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award; Dinothesaurus, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year as well as a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and a Junior Library Guild Selection; Bow Wow Meow Meow, a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year; and many more. He is also the author of The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits. Florian is a fine artist whose paintings have been exhibited in numerous art shows, and a former New Yorker cartoonist. He lives in Long Island, New York. Visit him online at douglasflorian.com. Barbara Bakos has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She has worked as an art director and a character and background designer for a television series, but she always knew that she wanted to spend more time as an illustrator. She now focuses on children's book illustration. She lives in the United Kingdom.
Short, slightly tongue-twisting exclamations celebrate movement across the animal kingdom in this exuberant rhyming board book. "Race, rabbit, race!/ Chase, cheetah, chase!" writes Florian as a pink bunny skips away from a green-eyed cheetah; they look more like they're playing tag than in predator-and-prey pursuit. (Later, though, two fish look a bit glum, caught in the talons of some soaring gulls). But the overall mood is one of gleeful fun, and the animals' destination is revealed in the closing scene of a baby napping in a hammock. How he can sleep amid all the activity is anyone's guess.--Publishers Weekly in a STARRED REVIEW An exploration of animal actions in rhyme.Veteran Florian's catchy verse makes this one bounce along: "Leap, frog, leap! / Creep, caterpillar, creep!" The skillful illustrations are playful and filled with amusing details. A blissful pink bunny bounds along ("Race, rabbit, race!"), oblivious to the fierce-eyed, sharp-clawed cat that pursues him ("Chase, cheetah, chase!"). The trekking turtle sports a backpack, a straw hat, and a supremely satisfied smile as it ambles along. In the final image, a pink-skinned child slumbers in a hammock ("Sleep, child, sleep!") with all of the animals that have appeared so far clustered around protectively. Companion title Once I Was a Pollywog introduces the juvenile and adult names of animals in rhyme: "Once I was a cub... / but now I am a bear. // Once I was a leveret... / but now I am a hare." Simple, clever verse and enchanting illustrations make both of these selections sure bets for toddlers and preschoolers. Librarians, teachers, and caregivers will want this and its companion in their board-book collections. (Board book. 2-5)--Kirkus Reviews in a STARRED REVIEW (Once I Was a Pollywog: 978-1-4998-0141-5)