Pull this chunky, square, accordion-folded board book from its slipcase to find a simple story that’s short on words but big on imagination.
On the first page, readers are presented with an unidentifiable small brown animal—a cross between a mouse and a bear?—bouncing a polka-dot ball. As the accordion pages unfold, they watch as the creature tosses the ball and it goes flying out of the window. Try as it might, the critter is too short to see out the window, though readers can tell that something dramatic is obviously happening right outside. The final fold instructs them that it is “time to turn around”; flipping the book, they will find an exotic parade featuring everything from an octopus to various types of birds to all manner of machines. Although not visible on most of the pages, the ball somehow makes its way through the crazy carnival and is tossed, in the final panels, back through the window into the waiting arms of its furry owner. Little ones will have trouble with both format and story, but older children will delight in stretching out the panels to the book’s full, considerable length and poring over its extraordinary scenes.
This whimsical celebration of imagination is a reminder to constantly seek to broaden our horizons, for new wonders always await. (Board book. 3-5)