A review of Animal Crackers

  • Illustration from the poem "Lizard."

    Scott Kraynak
  • Illustration from the poem "Bison."

    Scott Kraynak

Animal Crackers
The Brothers Kraynak
48 pages, softcover:
The Brothers Kraynak, 2013.

With its colorful illustrations and hand-lettered look, Animal Crackers resembles a children's book -- until you look more closely and realize it's far from a soothing bedtime read. The Brothers Kraynak, Scott, a visual artist and park ranger, and his brother, Jeff, a scientist and filmmaker, are fed up with humanity's wanton destruction of other species and their habitats. What if the tables were turned? their book asks in the rhyming cadences of Dr. Seuss. "What if manatees all rode their jet skis too fast, leaving human remains in the wake that they cast?" In 48 pages, the authors create nightmarish scenes where wolves, bluefin tuna and baby seals do unto humans as we have done unto them. Shocking as the book may be, its authors hope it will serve as a wake-up call. As the epilogue bluntly reminds us, "Are we going to change or just ride it all out? Politicians are deaf lest we stand up and shout."

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