I found this book something of a puzzle. The text, if read straight through, has a rhyme and pattern as it tells of waking, dressing, school, play, dinner-time, washing and bed-time. The illustrations, using black outlines and shading and limited, subdued colour on white or subtly tinted backgrounds, show a small boy engaged in these activities with not an adult in sight. His companions are mostly animals including elephant, hippo, lion, possum, cat, octopus and bear (in teacher role) which appear in double and single spreads and multi-picture sequences.
The written and picture elements each work well enough in themselves but not so well together. The rhyming couplets are decoupled and stretched out to appear as captions to some of the picture sequences and not always appropriately. As a result it is difficult for the reader to appreciate the rhyme and the ‘captions’ in the dressing and school sequences in particular are distractingly at odds with what is being shown. However, it was different enigmas: ‘Was it a dream?’ and ‘How come there aren’t any grown-ups?’ that my audience puzzled over.