If All of the Animals Came Inside is Eric Pinder’s delightful rollicking picture book celebration of madcap animal antics, which has been joyously illustrated by celebrated Arthur creator Marc Brown. I’m thrilled to say that this month, Animals received a starred review from School Library Journal. Here’s the review in full:
A boy imagines what would happen if all the animals he could think of came into his house and relates the ensuing chaos with relish. “The walls would tremble. The closets would quake./Oh, what a terrible mess we would make!” With pitch-perfect timing, Pinder uses the same rhythm long enough to explore the structure but avoids tedium through subtle changes. At first the child is simply thrilled by the mayhem, but as the havoc starts affecting him personally (the animals misuse his toys and hog the TV), he becomes less pleased. As his feeling change, so does the rhythm of the verse. As day ends, the youngster concludes that it was fun to have all the animals inside, but ultimately he’s content with his dog and kitten. Using cut paper painted with gouache and decorated with photographic elements, the always-lively Brown seems to have taken particular joy in creating these bright illustrations. Showcasing a perfect synthesis of the cartoon style he made famous with “Arthur” (Little, Brown) and his more recent collage-style work, the artist is in top form. Don’t leave this rollicking “what if” adventure out in the cold.