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PLAYBOOK FARM by Corina Fletcher Kirkus Star


by Corina Fletcher, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-61656
Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

A delightful playmat and pop-up book all in one.

This novelty kit comes with its own box, a pop-up “book” and a pocket with an assortment of stand-up paper animals, people and farm vehicles. Readers can choose to turn the pages of the book, in the conventional manner, for a pop-up experience or to flip it over to read very simple animal facts in 2-D. The book can also be folded flat to create a nearly 31-by-24-inch playmat. The paper figurines, made of two-ply card stock with a simple foldout base, add to the fun of the pop-up portions of the mat and encourage play. The paper engineering is quite sophisticated and includes a pop-up barn and sheep pen with doors that can open and a windmill that spins with a flick. The text for the pop-up side of the book is a simple catalog of noises and movements heard and seen on a farm and reads aloud fluidly. The flip side, which does have some tricky pages that fold up or down instead of right to left, asks readers to guess the “job” an animal does on the farm. Some of the explanations may strike adult readers as incomplete (“Horses like to trot, gallop, and jump!”), but with wonderful pop-ups waiting on the other side, this side of the book is not going to get much airtime. Teckentrup’s digitally created artwork has a homespun, folksy feel. Her flat forms are softened and rounded by the application of color that resembles mottled brush strokes and textured block prints. With the choking-hazard warning on the back and the delicate nature of the pop-ups and paper figures, buyers should follow the age recommendations closely on this one.

This is a charmer for preschoolers and their grown-ups alike. Here’s hoping more “Playbooks” are on the way. (Pop-up/board book and novelty item. 3-6)