Tullet’s latest interactive creation turns an open book into a game of peekaboo.
With an almond-shaped die-cut eye hole punched through each page, a mask for readers to wear is created across the double-page spread. Little ones and their grown-ups can don two human (both Caucasian) masks, as well as one cat, one robot and three aliens (or are they monsters?). Tullet’s bold colors are present here in his graphically simple and playful cartoons rendered with thick black lines. The minimal text consists of an appropriate greeting from the character in question (“Hello!” “Hey!” “Miiiiiow!”) and a simple, first-person one-liner for the mask wearer to repeat. The choking-hazard warnings that have plagued many of Tullet’s other board-book offerings are absent, a welcome change. As many toddlers can be wary of masks, parents and caregivers should take pains to share this title with sensitivity.
While Taro Gomi did this gimmick first and better (Peekaboo, 2013, in English; 1990 in Japan), this is a welcome addition to the growing number of board books that go masked. (Board book. 1-3)