Monday, April 18, 2011

Review #94: Animals Home Alone

Dad:  We've got a great book here by Loes Riphagen, originally published in the Netherlands.
Isaac (age 12):  "Animals Home Alone."
Lily (age 8):  It's a wordless picture book.
Dad:  And what's the premise?  A family leaves their house, and...
Gracie (age 10):  The animals are home alone.  It's about what the animals do when no one is looking.
Isaac:  I loved the idea of this book.  It's like someone took a photograph every minute in this one room.  The illustrations are drawings, not photographs.  But it's like every minute someone takes another picture, and then another one, and then another one.
Gracie:  The scenery is always the same -- the setting -- the background.  But all the characters in the book keep doing these different little crazy things.  It's pretty funny.
Lily:  See, the bird chases the moth all around the room.  So on one page they are in one place in the room, and on the next page he is in different place chasing the moth...
Isaac:  It's like one of those Search and Find books.  On every page, things are always different -- all the little things that happen.  All the animals in the house are doing funny stuff.
Lily:  The animals messed everything up inside the house.
Dad:  There's way more than one story going on at the same time.
Lily:  There's two stories... three stories... four stories... five stories.
Isaac:  More like a hundred.
Lily:  Lots of stories.
Isaac:  The little moths are getting into mischief.  And the cockroaches are evil.  I like the cockroaches.  They are always making the most trouble.  One time they go swimming in the toilet.  One time they crash a toy car into the steps.
Elijah (age 5):  And one of those little guys knocked the jelly down.
Isaac:  Jelly got everywhere.
Elijah:  They were naughty bugs.
Lily:  One time they drew a moustache on grandma!
Elijah:  My favorite guy was the yellow elephant.  He collected a whole bunch of yellow toys and stuff.  Maybe he didn't know which one he wanted.  And he fell in love with a bunny.
Gracie:  The elephant and the bunny fall in love.  Then they give each other smoochies.  And have baby bunny-phants.
Lily:  I like the fish.  Because he's awesome!
Gracie:  The fish is very funny.
Elijah:  On every page we have to try to find the little fish.
Dad:  He kept swimming in funny places.
Isaac:  And the pig pretty much ate everything.
Gracie:  The pig eats everything he can get his hands on.
Dad:  Would you have wanted any of those animals for a pet?
Elijah:  NO.  Only if they were not knocking stuff over.
Lily:  I'd want to have the cat that could talk on the phone.  He could do business calls for me.
Dad:  Did it feel like we were "reading" the book?
Lily:  It felt like "playing" the book.
Isaac:  It was really awesome.  I love this book.  It's just so funny.
Gracie:  I think it's special because on every page, every time you read it, you notice something different.
Dad:  So even though we just read it, you're not done with it...
Isaac:  I'd want to read it again.
Gracie:  I'd want to read it tons and tons of times, over and over again.  Just to see something else I didn't notice.  Every time you read it, it's a thousand new experiences.
Dad:  Now, some of the animals were pets - but not all of them.
Lily:  Some of them came out of strange places.  The fish was a real pet, but the bear came out of a picture frame.
Elijah:  And the pig came out a book.
Gracie:  And the elephant came out of a drawing.  That's why he is yellow.
Dad:  Do you think anything turns alive at our house while we're not looking?  Like, the pictures on your walls?
Gracie:  That explains it!  I clean my room, and every time I leave for a few seconds, I come back and it's trashed again.
Dad:  Those animals came from weird places, but they also left in some fun ways too...
Elijah:  The bear went onto the t.v. because he wanted the honey so bad.
Lily:  I might want to go into a movie.
Gracie:  I'd go into a dictionary so I'd know everything naturally.
Isaac:  The evil cockroaches got flushed down the toilet.  The cat flushed them.
Gracie:  Because they were splashing him with toilet water.
Elijah:  "Hey - hey - get us out of here! Agh!"
Dad:  What do you think the people will do when they come back home and see the mess?
Lily:  Freak out!  They will be shocked.
Gracie:  If you lived with THOSE animals, you probably shouldn't be shocked.
Dad:  So you think the owners have dealt with this before?
Gracie:  Well, it's not like that's the first time they ever left the house in their whole entire life.  So they are probably used to it.
Dad:  I don't think I'd ever leave the house if it always looked like that when I came back.

bunny, elephant, and baby bunny-phant; by Elijah

fish in the jam jar, by Lily

pig eats... everyone, by Gracie

And lastly, moth meets bird, by Isaac:

Author/Illustrator: Loes Riphagen
Published, 2011: Seven Footer Press
Like it?  Here it is


Majeki said...

Does Lily make business calls often? I ask because she said, "I'd want to have the cat that could talk on the phone. He could do business calls for me."


ElizT said...

Nice book, nice review, lovely pictures!

Z-Kids said...

I didn't include it in the review... but at the time, I too asked Lily about the business calls. She said that the cat could get her art jobs -- he would be her art rep.

Then the conversation turned into a heated discussion between Gracie and Lily about weather cats could talk on the phone to humans or only to other cats...

:) Z-Dad

ldsjaneite said...

Great review! I've put the book on hold so I can read it now.

Alysa Stewart said...

how neat that even though it was originally published in a different language, since it is a wordless picture book, nothing is lost in translation! it is every bit as good as the original, eh?

ElizT said...

My cat calls at all hours of the day and night; useless on the computer though.

LinWash said...

This book sounds great! Love the pictures you were inspired to make! This is such a great blog!

Z-Kids said...

I can't believe I wrote "weather cats." Oh well, maybe that's the start of a new picture book idea...
:) Z-Dad

Amy L V said...

I am going to get this book...and I love this style of review! It made my afternoon! a.