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*Please Don't Upset P.U. Zorilla!* by Lynn Rowe Reed
Also by Lynn Rowe Redd:

Thelonius Turkey Lives! (On Felicia Ferguson's Farm)

Please Don't Upset P.U. Zorilla!
by Lynn Rowe Reed
Ages 4-8 32 pages Knopf October 2006 Hardcover    

P.U. Zorilla does come with a warning: his new employers are told “Please don’t upset P.U. Zorilla!” Despite being a hardworking bus driver, popcorn seller, and pet store clerk, P.U. cannot stop his offensive reactions to distressing events on the job. Mayor Tootlebee wants to believe there’s a suitable job in his town for this new resident, so he keeps trying to find that perfect fit. Fortunately for the mayor and residents of the town, P.U. is perfect for one particular job where his means of defense will be most useful!

P.U. has much in common with the zorillas from Africa. Both are skunk-like in their colorings and their emissions. Although sad reasons bring P.U. Zorilla to Mayor Tootlebee’s town, happy reasons will keep him there.

A little real life and a lot of childlike creativity came together to create the artwork for this book. The fresh popcorn, the toy fish, the shiny bus wheels, and the well-used baseball seem to just come out at you off the page. The homemade polka-dotted snake is my favorite of all the real-life objects pictured in this book. Where others might have stopped on their illustrations, this author has kept going. The hair flip is extra long and twice as curled up; the eyelashes are two times as long and thicker than usual; and the noses are tremendously long, demanding a lot of face space. The exaggerations make for some fun illustrations. Lynn Rowe Reed also goes crazy with colorful details in her illustrations. On the clothing and on the animal fur, she uses unusual color combinations and mismatched patterns to create bright, amusing pieces.

Because of everything in it, I recommend this book. Enjoy more of the author’s writing in Thelonius Turkey Lives!), and more of her illustrations in Punctuation Takes a Vacation.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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