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THE HAPPY LITTLE YELLOW BOX by David A. Carter Kirkus Star


A Pop-up Book of Opposites

by David A. Carter, illustrated by David A. Carter

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4096-8
Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

A smiling square demonstrates eight pairs of opposites thanks to a sturdy array of pull-tabs, nested flaps and pop-ups.

Though the title conjures up echoes of Lane Smith’s satiric Happy Hocky Family (1993), this is really no more (and no less) than a straightforward concept item. Against solid black backgrounds, a smiling box and a minimal set of props or figures drawn in simple white lines demonstrate “outside” and “inside,” “open” and “close,” “near” and “far,” and like relationships identified by straightforward captions. Starting out as a hinged flap, the box goes on with aid from sliders, pull-tabs and artfully angled supports to represent a variety of things. A helicopter flies “[h]igh and low with the Happy Little Yellow Box,” an apartment building’s electric lights flash “[o]ff and on with the Happy Little Yellow Boxes,” and a garage door, a truck and an elevator are put through their paces. On the final spread, the smiling box opens into a “[l]arge” cube that contains a “small” version of itself visible through a window.

A small gem, elegantly simple from patterned text to creatively engineered moving parts. (Pop-up/concept book. 2-4)