A pair of googly eyes gives even the shark and the hippo willies in this pop-up minimystery.
“Those frightening eyes! / That hideous stare! / What on earth is that thing over there?” From a curly snake to an octopus with writhing tentacles, both fresh- and saltwater creatures look askance at the wide eyes staring from a page corner on each spread. A gray and teal palette gives both the dark pop-up figures and simple marine settings in Mansfield’s paper-collage illustrations a suitably murky atmosphere. The insistent questions crank up the suspense—until the end’s climactic denouement: “You mean me?” says a little wriggler. “I’m a tadpole who’s / learning to swim— / that’s all!” The co-published Who’s Who in the Woods? follows a similar scheme with nocturnal land and flying creatures anxiously veering away from a low stare that turns out to belong to…a tiny mouse. Both books are wee in both trim size and page count, giving them a nicely nonthreatening feel.
A little chiller for Halloween or any time the lights are low. (Pop-up picture book. 3-6)