I love Kane/Miller, a publishing house that specializes in reprinting foreign titles. I especially love discovering that parents overseas are as neurotic as myself. When I first had Seth, my family dispensed such loving advice as, "try to remember where you put the baby."
So I had great empathy for the couple in this book, who are merely a backdrop to the little girl who narrates. It's really two stories: the girl's version, told in words, and the "reality" we see in clashing sets of pictures.
Lee uses colored pencils, graph paper and cut paper collage to give us the crowded zoo on a clear, autumn day. Everything's gray or slate, except for a lovely peacock in brilliant blues and purples. Uh-oh. Guess who's eye roves? The little girl's!
And our eye follows the stream of color too, throughout drawings with depth and perspective that nonetheless remain uncluttered and clear.
In her version, she's having a fun day looking at animals. In the gray reality, she's off chasing that bird, lurching into a rainbow-colored series of pencil sketches as the girl frolics with various animals. She's fully immersed in fantasy, or is she? Meanwhile, it takes gray, dull Daddy a couple pages to notice he's holding only a balloon where a little girl's hand should be. Whoops.
Lee then cuts back and forth between the two adventures: the girl's and her frantic parents. Been there, done that, had the heart attack. If this doesn't make you chuckle knowingly, you don't have kids.