Let's Have a Tree Party!

Let's Have a Tree Party! illus. by John Manders. unpaged. Candlewick. Mar. 2012. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3704-0. LC number unavailable.
PreS-Gr 1—Grandpa Crow invites all the forest animals to a treetop soiree. After feasting on pizza and ice cream, the guests enjoy boogying to a tin-can drumbeat. The critters "bunny hop" and "chugga-chugga" along the branches until it's time for a game of Simon Says. At sunset, the partygoers settle in for a nap, but owls and luna moths crash the bash. Festivities start up again, and the evening sky is lit with "sparklers sparking and shooting stars shooting." Manders's comical watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations feature a host of cheerful, wide-eyed creatures, from squirrels and possums to mice and slugs. The rhyming text offers opportunities for listener participation: "Clap and shout and sing out, too—/Doo-boppa, doo-boppa, doo-boppa-doo." However, at times the verses are awkward and twee ("Then just in time for hungry tummies,/bluebirds came with yummy yummies"; "'I love pizza./There's nothing in the world I'd rather eat-za!'"), making this an additional purchase.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
After Grandpa Crow announces a party in his tree, forest animals stop by to play hide-and-seek, eat pizza and ice cream, make music, etc. The illustrations of goofy-looking critters are a good match for the singsongy rhymes, which include the arrhythmic groaner, "'Thanks a lot,' squeaked a mouse. / 'I love pizza. / There's nothing in the world / I'd rather eat-za!'"

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