Oh, No! has this nifty cover. It has an almost nouveau and classic look to it. It could be woodcuts even. And the story (the animals of the jungle fall into a hole one by one while trying to save each other) had great potential. It was a perfect “helping others” out themed story. However, when the tiger arrives on the scene (though have seen him sneaking around the pages throughout the book), and sees the animals trapped, you find out that Candace Fleming has less than a pleasant fate for the tiger. (Spoiler) Through a few events where the animals who are trapped in the hole can finally escape creates the situation where the tiger becomes trapped and the other animals leave him. Now, granted the tiger did want to follow nature and have a lovely meal, but the opportunity for a positive ending goes right out the hole with the animals that have escaped.
Even award-winner Eric Rohmann cannot save the say with his classically inspired signature styled illustrations. The colors and woodcut look to the art would have been the perfect addition to a lesson story. Instead, it looks like an old book from the 1920’s with nothing redeeming about it. The details would have been fun (such as the tiger sneaking about) if the things around the hole that could have been used, the animal’s particular talents used, and so forth. I am not a fan of some of Rohmann’s other work, but this one had such potential that to see it paired with this story was disappointing.
Promoted as an “instant classic,” Oh, No! is missing all the good parts that one associates with a classic or even a good story.