A highly interactive, lightly conceptual board book.
The first of several movable components appears on the cover, which features a Caucasian toddler on a carousel horse that can move up and down via a sliding panel. Most of the consecutive pages present relatively sturdy tactile or interactive elements, all relating to horses. White and black toy horses sport velvety coats, and covering most of the final page of the book is a large flap that doubles as the door of a horse’s stall. Readers follow a toddler duo, a boy and girl pair with dark hair who could likely be fraternal twins, through a whole range of equine-related settings. Church’s cartoons, drawn with black lines over lightly textured backgrounds, present the scenes with crystal clarity. The rhyming text is minimal, but it frames each scene nicely and is just enough for the youngest readers: “Horsey up. / Horsey down. // Horsey jumping all around. // Horsey white. / Horsey black. // Horsey rolling on the track.” While the subtitle claims this work is “A Book of Opposites,” with only three opposite concepts presented in 12 pages, it hardly qualifies as a concept book.
The playful gimmicks will keep readers turning the pages and asking for it again and again. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)