“I spy” fun for little ones.
Rhyming text (uncredited) invites readers to scan pages illustrated with groups of animals in order to find a baby animal hidden among the rest. Elephants adorn the cover and title page, and then parrots, orcas, hens, sea horses, snails, and other creatures populate subsequent spreads. Representative quatrains read, “With trumpeting trunks / and thundering feet, / elephants march through / the still desert heat. / And right by his mom / with his skin just as gray, / is an elephant calf / who is ready to play.” The repetitive, orderly, arrangements of the animals on the pages makes finding the baby on each one satisfyingly challenging, as does the limited color contrast between background colors and animals on many spreads. Excellent design allows layout changes to enhance visual interest, with some double-page spreads including both art and (uncredited) text, and others isolating the text to one page and the art to another, for example. Until the final spread, which shows animals of varied sizes together, the uniform scale of the individual animals makes the illustrations seem as though they’d be at home on children’s clothing fabrics or nursery décor. That last spread reveals all the parent-and-baby pairs from prior spreads and gives readers a little, final surprise to culminate the search-and-find interactivity of the book as a whole.
It won’t be difficult at all to find eager readers for this book. (Picture book. 2-4)