Review of The Terrible Plop
A toe-tapping rhyming text and cartoon illustrations of personality-rich but uncute animals combine in this Chicken Little variant from Australia. An apple falling into a lake sparks mass hysteria as forest animals, big and small, join the rabbits as they flee from the mysterious Plop. A big brown bear appears as the voice of reason, but he too is infected with the craziness, and it remains for the littlest rabbit to calm down and finally identify the Plop. This is classic picture book fare with a circular plot (beginning and ending with chocolate cake), rhythms that do not falter, dynamic type design, perfectly choreographed page turns, the triumph of the under-rabbit, pictures full of details to notice and discuss, and the great satisfaction of being smarter than the characters themselves. Simple rhyming words—plop, stop, hop—invite the emerging reader to jump in. Jaunty drawings with a touch of collage demonstrate that even a cloud of dust can have the presence of a character. Make room on the preschool storytime shelf.
Published in The Horn Book on September 1, 2009.