Everyone’s afraid of something.
“No one is as brave as me,” boasts a mouse—as a shadowy owl looms up ominously from behind (look out!) and, on the next page, utters a humongous “BOO!” The titular exclamation quickly becomes a refrain, as the owl makes the same claim before being itself sent scurrying by a monkey, who is in turn put to flight by a crocodile, and so on…until at last an elephant’s preening comes to an abrupt end when the mouse comes ’round again. Hackneyed as that final encounter may be, there are not many children anywhere who won’t be delighted to feel the suspense and then bellow out the release. Newman’s loud colors and blocky figures suit the elemental simplicity of the quick sequence of buildups and climactic shouts. A pair of large, cut-out, yellow O’s on the cover that turn out to be crocodile eyes make a suitably melodramatic first impression.
A natural as a high-volume storytime ice breaker or lagniappe. (Picture book. 4-6)