Booklist (March 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 13))
Grades K-2. At last, a picture book about that funniest of faux pas—walking around with your zipper undone. Young Joe notices that his dad’s flag is flying first thing in the morning, but as they head out on errands, Dad keeps interrupting his son just as Joe tries to tell him about the heart-patterned underwear showing from his trousers. Everywhere they go, more and more people see this horrifying display, including Joe’s teacher. Lindaman crams the dialogue with references to this revealing situation: “Let’s zip out of here.” “A pop fly to left field.” “Joe can keep it zipped.” “Button up, Joe.” “Make it snappy!” Carlson matches the author blow-by-blow with her colored-pencil illustrations: cartoon panels bordered by zippers, a license plate labeled “XYZPDQ,” such props as flyswatters, etc. The inclusion of a little fly buzzing about seems one element too many, and the ending, featuring a grocery-store intercom, isn’t as natural as it might be. Nevertheless, laughing readers will probably be gasping for air. This book knows its audience.