Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Wallace Edwards
Picture Book
For ages 4 and up
Kids Can Press, 2002   ISBN: 978-1553373865

We are going to visit a large old Victorian house and you had better prepare yourself for some very strange sights for the occupants of this house are not humans, they are animals. Furthermore these animals are rather peculiar for most are not the kind of creatures that you expect to find in a house and they certainly don’t behave in a very animal-like fashion either.

For example you will see an elephant playing with a train set and a hippo getting ready to play the violin. You will notice that there is a mandrill waiting for the phone to ring and an octopus is hanging from a chandelier. A tarantula has clearly disrupted a tea party and an “under the weather” warthog is reclining on a bed. And don’t forget the yak which has painted itself into a corner. Will the big hairy creature just wait for the paint to dry or will it risk leaving hoof prints all over the newly painted floor?

In this intriguing, rather surrealistic alphabet picture book readers of all ages will find themselves looking at each of the paintings for minutes at a time, marveling at the textures, the colors and the attention to detail. They will wonder at the odd tableaus that the illustrator has created and laugh at some of the situations that the animals find themselves in. A simple rhyming text perfectly compliments the stunning richly textured colorful paintings which fill this very unique book.