WHY THE FACE? by Jean Jullien
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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Cartoon faces with a variety of expressions invite readers to guess what might be causing “the face.”

One on each recto, nine different faces (with different hairdos and colors and different skin tones ranging from light brown to dark brown) sport distinctive and very quirky looks. Each face is accompanied by the recurring page-filling, boldfaced question “WHY THE FACE? on the opposite page. The answer to each can be found by unfolding the gatefold pages beneath the faces in this sturdily constructed board book. The gift here is the fold-out page, as it allows children time to use their imaginations and encourages conversations between children and adult readers before unfolding the page and revealing the answer. The answers are as distinctive and quirky as the faces. The answer to a scrunched-up face is revealed to be a collection of smelly objects—from an elephant’s backside with a swarm of flies around it to a shoe—accompanied by “WHOA! THAT STINKS.” And the face with spirals for eyes? A collection of electronic screens along with a plea for “FIVE MORE MINUTES!” Allowing for differences in attitudes, two different faces—one happy, one disgusted—reveal the same answer: bugs. The accompanying text succinctly expresses the contradictory feelings: “OOH COOL! / EWW GROSS!” (In an extra-delightful touch, the feminine face is delighted by the bugs, while the masculine one is repelled by them.)

Witty, smart, and funny—kids will love it! (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7148-7719-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Phaidon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019


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