A visual and verbal feast of a picture book.
Each double-page spread offers readers a bevy of words and pictures that fall under a general, labeled thematic grouping. For example, the first spread reads, merely, “Babies” in a green text block in the upper-left corner of the verso, and then there are 13 groupings of animal parents and babies spread out over the white pages, with words assigned to each: gorilla and infant, deer and fawn, kangaroo and joey, and so on. Digital illustrations take on the appearance of collage—a bit like Eric Carle’s work but with a more cartoonish slant lent with the big round eyes on each character. In a humorous twist, in the spread for “Things to Wear,” these items have the same wide, round eyes found on the animals and birds on prior pages, as do subsequent spreads with kitchen items, musical instruments, and plants. This touch adds levity and playfulness to the picture book, which never develops into a story but provides readers with ample visual interest with pictures tied to an array of vocabulary. With items ranging in complexity from T-shirt and swing set to Prenocephale (a “Prehistoric Creature”) and a lute, the book will grow with its readers. Humans, when depicted, appear in a variety of skin tones and hair colors and textures; one girl wears the hijab.
What a wonderful world of words and pictures. (Picture book. 6 mos.-4)