When Horris is born, "The doctors said they'd never seen a baby that large." His parents decide it will just be easier if 4-year-old Horris gets a factory job. After all, he can sort by size and color and count to 10. Sacked on the day higher counting is required, Horris discovers a playground on the way home. To his amazement, the children tell him they receive no "pay" for their job of playing, but Horris decides it's the best anyway. "[T]he hours are great." This wry adult humor is not inaccessible to children.
Horris Zeldnik is the biggest baby the doctors have ever seen. His mother must climb on 11 books to kiss him goodnight. At age four, he drinks six cartons of milk at each meal, and he brushes his teeth with a hairbrush. Unsure how to treat him, his parents send him out to get a job. He finds one at Bernard Backelbass' Box Factory, but when it becomes clear he can't count to 100, he is sent home. On the way, he encounters kids having fun on a playground and quickly decides that he prefers a job where "the hours are great, there's laughter, and you can have snacks whenever you want!" The offbeat story is paired with wacky illustrations that call up the work of J. Otto Seibold and Dan Yaccarino. Adult readers can't miss the "let kids be kids" message or the barbs at parents, but as far as young listeners are concerned, the novelty of the story will override the satire. The characters' black-rimmed, raccoon eyes are especially kooky.
Julie Cummins, Booklist