A hands-on approach (literally) to the wide and wonderful world of instruments.
Seven instruments sit on a stage, ready and waiting to be played. A multiracial cast of kids instructs young readers on how to play each instrument. As readers strum the picture of the guitar, bang the drum, or tap the piano keys, onomatopoeic sounds are spelled out in large display type on the page. By the time readers come to the performance at the end they’ll need little urging to get their groove on as well. Wiseman’s art cleverly makes each instrument something readers can “play,” blowing them up on the page and even forcing the occasional 90-degree turn when it suits. Librarians and caregivers should prepare for rips, tears, and other signs of adoration-turned-annihilation from young fans as they take to these instruments with gusto. Interactive picture books may be a dime a dozen, but this latest product of the post–Press Here (2011) era makes for a clever combination of interactive elements and good old-fashioned read-aloud know-how. Interestingly, the companion title, Pet This Book, is less successful, concentrating instead on petting, feeding, and caring for animals. Though well-intentioned, it lacks the bombast and wit of Play This Book’s premise.
Whether it’s storytime for a large group or one-on-one laptime, just try and stop kids from following this book’s titular encouragement. (Picture book. 3-6)