Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2003 From dog-eared pages to the cat's pajamas, from going hog wild to smelling a rat, from clammy hands to crow's feet, this compendium of faunal metaphor is impressive indeed. After the requisite opening definitions of axioms, proverbs, and related linguistic niceties, Leedy and Street launch right into a half-dozen chapters (if one can apply so formal a moniker to their freewheeling spreads), organized by the house, the farm, and the wild, in the air, through the ground, and under the waves. At first glance, the frenetic mixed-media vignettes look like cartoon refugees from a Monty Python episode. There's some very clever logic in the layout, though, as the "cub reporter" interviews the "wildcat" striker, the "snake oil salesman" "speaks with a forked tongue," and the "cooked goose" is slathered in the sauce that's good for both goose and gander. Even pagination gets in on the act: the goose that lays the golden egg also lays a "24k" page number, while a can of "duck soup" on the facing page is "25¢" off. There's no niggling over derivations (language enthusiasts who want to expound on, say, a nautical genesis for "letting the cat out of the bag" are barking up the wrong tree here)-just comically literal pictures and on-point explanations of how the sayings are used today. An index leads readers to their favorite beasties, but the direct approach isn't near as much fun as a leisurely browse. - Copyright 2003 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2003 Gr 2-6-Like a moth to a flame, readers will be drawn to this entertaining book. The sayings are loosely grouped by types of animals-domestic, barnyard, winged, etc.-and each adage is accompanied by a short definition. For example, "It's raining cats and dogs. It's raining hard." Numerous sayings are scattered over each spread and illustrated with small, full-color pictures in a variety of styles. While this format might seem overwhelming at first glance, children will pore over the pages. The collaboration of text and art makes the volume lively and humorous. The index is arranged by animal rather than by adage. This title is perfect for anyone who wonders about the meaning of everyday expressions, and it makes a good language reference tool. Readers might come to this book for a specific saying, but will find themselves captivated by the engaging text and great illustrations.-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2003 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2003 *Starred Review* This book is just ducky! It's the cat's pajamas! In fact, it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys! These enthusiastic endorsements are among the many animal expressions defined in this unusual collection that maximizes the humor of sayings that are common to English usage but nonsensical if taken literally. And take them literally Leedy does in her hilarious art. A social butterfly wears a party hat and has a balloon; a clotheshorse is a handsome stallion, in a top hat and men's shoes, shown tying a tie. Even the page numbers are part of the fun; the number for page 24 appears in a 24-karat gold egg lying beneath the goose that laid it. This same bird is pictured with a thought bubble in which she imagines herself served on a silver platter: My goose is cooked. The illustrations continuously work together in this way--up, down, and across the double-page spreads, which are loosely arranged by themes according to their animal subjects, from house pets to farm stock to wild critters. To round things out, each boldface figure of speech or phase is accompanied by a succinct explanation, making the book useful for classroom enrichment as well as great fun for personal enjoyment. Even children older than the target audience will agree that this is, indeed, a volume to crow about! - Copyright 2003 Booklist.