If All the Animals Came Inside is a humorous picture book where a young boy imagines how life would be if all the animals came inside to live. They would play hide and seek, go for an elephant ride, bounce on the beds and knock over the chairs! Throughout the text, there is a repeated refrain, "Oh, what a terrible mess they would make!" At the start of the text that terrible mess is oh so fun, but as the story progresses even the protagonist moves from player to spectator. And in the end, after spending the night camped outside, he decides that
"As fun as a house full of critters could be,
my dog and my kitten are plenty for me.
But oh, what a wild and wonderful ride
when all the animals came inside."
The illustrations are collage cutouts done by Marc Brown. They are colorful, fun and humorous. The look is very textured, perhaps a little too much for me, but overall the effect is one that echoes the text - of a wild ride when the animals came inside!
It was spring break here last week and my kids made up a zoo in their bedroom complete with every stuffed animal known to man, with signs and tickets for entrance. They loved reading this book and imagining their own zoo coming to life inside their room.
I received a review copy of this book - however, all opinions are my own.