A cavalcade of diminutive, neatly designed pop-ups evokes toys of yesteryear.
Each of the 10 moderately antique playthings, which range from a gas station to a doll in a wheeled cradle, takes center stage in a minimally detailed setting printed on stiff paper stock and designed to open to a right angle. Some figures recur, such as a toy sailor who poses next to a sailboat and again on the trailer bed of a big truck, but mostly the tableaux stand alone: there’s an elephant on a wheeled platform, a firetruck, and a tractor hauling a sow dubbed “Stendahl” on a cart. Two loggers pull a saw back and forth a half inch or so in the only construction with a moving element. Along with sound effects, a child narrator seen just once and notable more for her enthusiasm than for natural language offers short scenarios—the sailor above is “an exceptional load!” for instance, and the “mechanical boat” sparks a planned outing: “On Thursday, I will go to the pond with mom and see it navigate.” The perspective pulls back for a capping bedroom scene featuring an open wardrobe and toys scattered on the floor. “What a mess. I took everything out to play! I’ll clean up my room tomorrow. Good night, my toys.”
A tidy showcase for Lo Monaco, with at least some potential for return visits. (Pop-up picture book. 4-6)