This German import employs fresh and familiar similes to examine the varied behaviors children exhibit throughout a day.
With their strong primary (and secondary) colors, flat shapes enhanced with a panoply of pattern, and dynamic, slightly absurd designs, the book’s images of children and animals cavorting are reminiscent of vintage Soviet graphics. Matte paper and dry brushstrokes revealing under-color add tactile and textural interest. Readers witness a range of white-skinned youngsters, from the first child, who climbs out of a cagelike crib while a feathered friend looks on in “FREE AS A BIRD,” to the last, who snuggles against a canine companion that’s as “PILLOWY AS A POODLE.” These placements provide an overarching narrative, but there are things to notice within each page or double-page spread as well—the hairy primate and child about to tickle toes peeking from under a blanket in “MISCHIEVOUS AS A MONKEY” or the pacifier-sucking toddler clenching a goldfish above the aquarium in “SILENT AS A FISH.” Readers are free to make their own judgments about this world where children are in charge. Adults have a few cameos (leg views only), but more often, nurturing is administered by animals. Whether the condition is thirsty, stubborn, chatty, or curious, the language is luscious, the scenes command attention, and the conversational possibilities are myriad.
A celebration of expression—in both senses of the word. (Picture book. 2-5)