Carle’s iconic illustrations are recycled for a new generation of toddlers.
As she did in My First Peek-a-Boo Animals (2017) and My First Busy Book (2015), designer Hannah Frece has chosen images from the Eric Carle backlist to illustrate a simple board book. This time mirrors have been added to images on the right-hand side of each spread. If the book is held just right, the child’s face is reflected within the outline of a cloud, a sun, a tree, a moon, and a star. (Sticky fingers quickly scratch and smudge the mirrors.) A heart-shaped cutout on the cover reveals the first mirror and complements the butterflies on the first-page verso. Rhyming stanzas starting with “I see you in…” are completed by a description of an appropriate action. So a butterfly “flutters so high,” clouds “float across the sky,” a lion “roars,” the sun “shines,” a monkey “swings,” and so on. Some actions, seemingly forced by the need to rhyme, may puzzle young children. Do puppies really play peekaboo? The final double-page spread invites children to repeat each action. After one reading most toddlers will already be fluttering, roaring, and waving along, but the reprise is a reminder that reading with toddlers should be an interactive experience.
Carle’s illustrations are lovely as always, but this repackaging seems unnecessary—more marketing ploy than essential purchase. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)