Monday, June 1, 2009

Always lots of heinies at the zoo, written by Ayun Halliday, illustrations by Dan Santat - review

Always lots of heinies at the zoo, written by Ayun Halliday, illustrations by Dan Santat
The author of the zine East Village Inky has written a picture book. That's it, my world just exploded.

I read Ayun Halliday's account of new motherhood, The Big Rumpus, when my older son was just a few months old. In that book, Ayun carted her daughter India around the East Village in a sling, wondering if her Dead Kennedys t-shirts were ever going to shrink back to normal after having worn them over her pregnant belly. Or something like that. As Ayun listlessly swiped at crusty wads of mushy peas on the kitchen floor and speculated over random puddles (apple juice? or pee?), I laughed the laugh of the unbelievably sleep-deprived. Good times.

Good times at the zoo, too, I'm happy to report. "No one tries to hide his heinie at the zoo." Like Chicken Cheeks (reviewed earlier), we get lots of fun heinie synonymy: tushy, glutes, can, and even caboose. Unlike Chicken Cheeks (reviewed earlier), we have an elephant with "junk in her supplemental trunk" - kind of steep slang for the K-3 set, and I think they're going to love it.

The vaguely Adam Rex-y, J.Otto Seibold-y illustrations are fine, not super-noteworthy (although, gotta say, GOOD MONKEYS), but composed very well. I love the portraits of Ayun and her husband Greg on the dedication page.

By the way, Ayun, if you're reading this: my colleague Dances with Chickens thinks this book would make a terrific little song. Maybe Greg can run something up.


Ayun Halliday said...

I AM reading this! (thank you!) How did you know? Greg's plate is so full, I think you have convinced me to take the 5-session ukelele class my friends the Lindsay-Abaire's are badgering me to take with them. (I was already thinking of it b/c then i can badger them to form a trio w/ me!) I'll write you that heinie song. Eventually...

Thanks again for your good, good support!

YNL said...

You know, I have heard that ukulele is the new banjo... just the sound for a heinie song.

Ayun, I am such a giant fan! I enjoyed Big Rumpus and No Touch Monkey so much (by the time Dirty Sugar Cookies came out I had a 2nd child and never got time to read it - boo), and I read East Village Inky while I was Sunset Park Paula.

You are one of the three women who inspired me to start writing some of it down (my other blog, Your Neighborhood Librarian, has lots more curse words). Because it is, in fact, funny - most of it is.

But I have to go sew curtains for the dining room now, and paint the basement stairs now that the kids are asleep and (less) likely to walk in the wet paint.

Thank you for visiting!