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Reviewed by:
  • The Great Indoors by Julie Falatko
  • Deborah Stevenson
Falatko, Julie The Great Indoors; illus. by Ruth Chan. Disney Hyperion,
2019 [40p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-368-00083-3 $17.99
E-book ISBN 978-1-368-94570-3 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R 5-8 yrs

A human family is leaving home on vacation, so it's time for the animals' vacation too—in the humans' vacated home. First, the bears come, then the beavers ("I do so love a roof over my head"), then the deer and the skunks, all enjoying the delights of refrigeration, cellphone reception, and big-screen TV. After a few days, though, the charms pall, conflicts arise, and wear and tear happens ("You're not supposed to put nacho cheese in the toaster!"). Finally, everybody's ready to go home ("I miss peeing behind a tree"), and they leave the place just before the return of the humans—to their trashed house. The homestay reversal is a clever notion wittily executed, like a long-awaited payback for the Goldilocks incident (there's even a bit of a hat-tip in one ursine spread), and audiences will giggle at the industriously cooking beavers and the party-animal deer. Chan's line and watercolor art has an airy yet playful Jon Agee quality in the pale tones and rotund, wide-eyed figures of [End Page 342] critters, and scenes offer myriad entertaining details, especially as the chaos mounts, that will tickle youngsters. Kids will appreciate the entertaining riff on the way vacations go wrong and right, and maybe they'll cast a longing look behind them for possible animal adventure as they leave for their own holiday. DS