Pssst!

pssst.jpgAdam Rex is v. cool, as Bridget Jones would say.  In his latest book, Pssst! (Harcourt, $16), a little girl is dum-dee-dee-dumming her way through the zoo, minding her own business, when—Pssst!—she is called over to the gorilla’s cage.  He engages her in a conversation.  He would really like a tire because, uh, his tire swing is broke.  She doesn’t make it four more yards before—Pssst!—the javelina needs a trash can, the sloths need bicycle helmets and the baboon asks for a wheelbarrow.  Weird, but okay.  She complies.  What else is a kid supposed to do?  Turns out, the reader gets a peek at the plot she has unwittingly helped these animals hatch.  Rex combines graphic novel elements with several different illustration techniques in that complex interconnected way only author/illustrators can do.  Have your students muse about how the different artistic techniques advance the story.  Or just enjoy the wry asymmetry of this kooky story.  Love the nod to Robert McCloskey on the last page and the zoo map on the endpapers.

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