Books

HOTEL ANIMAL

School Library Journal

Camille and Leon (two green lizards) decide to close their insect market for a much-needed vacation. They drive to the Hotel Animal, "the favorite vacation spot for animals from around the world.'' Although they feel small and out of place among the baboons and pandas, they are warmly welcomed. Readers see the resort from the lizards' point of view as the pair struggles with a shag rug, a hippo in the pool, and the restaurant menu. During a party in the ballroom, Camille becomes entangled in a balloon string and is lifted to a crystal chandelier. She climbs through a tiny hole in the ceiling into the dark attic and spends the night in a small dollhouse. The next morning, the owner (a bear) moves it to the first floor where it becomes Hotel Animal Too, the perfect place for small creatures to stay. The well-paced text is humorous and suspenseful enough for young readers. The witty, full-color, jewel-toned illustrations perfectly depict and augment events related in the text. Expressive, anthropomorphic animals in fabulous costumes cavort across the pages. This book is suitable for reading one-on-one or with a few children; however, many details are too small for large group sharing.
-Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA


Booklist - Mary Harris

When Camille and Leon Lizardo, the overworked owners of an insect market, need a vacation, they choose the world-famous Hotel Animal. Being the smallest guests is difficult: The furniture is too large, and there are no insects on the menu. When Camille is caught up by the string on a balloon in a dance floor mishap, she discovers an attic and a dollhouse just the right size. After the guests and proprietor help Leon find Camille, the proprietor brings the dollhouse down to the lobby, naming it Hotel Animal Too. DuQuette's pictures capture daily life from the perennially appealing Borrower's perspective and humorously depict large animals in leisure garb. The story will ring true for young children who find their favorite items missing from grown-ups' menus and recognize the jungle potential of shag carpets.

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© Keith DuQuette 2010