San Diego Union Tribune: Absolutely Not

Gloria and Frieda, two insect friends, live in a small house on Bug Hill, near Snake River, Big Nose Tree and Sleepy Lake. Gloria is tall, svelte and adventurous in her chic hat and beads, but Frieda is something else. She’s short, stout and terrified.

One gorgeous day, Gloria suggests a nice walk through their sylvan surroundings. “Absolutely not,” Frieda insists. To her, the river is a snake, the clouds are hairy, scary, monster eyebrows and the log is actually a scowling dog. On each step of the walk, Frieda envisions terror reigning from forest floor to canopy.

Gloria pooh-poohs it all. “It’s just your imagination. You find something bad in everything you see.”

The joke is we can see through Frieda’s eyes. McElligott’s punning illustrations let us see the monster eyebrows, the scowling dog, the snake in the river. As the walk goes on, Frieda is almost convinced by Gloria’s bravado – until two tree trunks with what look like clawed feet turn out to be something altogether different. (Leigh Fenly, San Diego Union Tribune, May 16, 2004)