Creator of the Follow the Line series, Ljungkvist here trains her digital tool kit on the seek-and-find format.
The opening is a colorful compendium of shapes that fill the double-page spread from top to bottom; hundreds of empty windows decorate the preponderance of rectangles in this “big city.” Readers are challenged to find 10 miniature cats. Then come the dogs (many collaged), followed by horses in a pasture, chickens on a farm, and so on. Several scenes look like mid-20th-century Formica-countertop designs, with outlines of overlapping animals layered on silhouettes of others. The “farm” is actually a solid yellow background. Single-color pages with instructions are interspersed between the busy scenes, offering a visual break. The text serves primarily to direct: “In a big field outside / the city, all the horses are / grazing in the pasture. / SEARCH and SPOT / 7 blue horses, / 6 that are brown, / 8 pink horses, / and 4 that are orange.” Although children love to search for hidden objects, it may be only the most obsessive that continue to the end. Many will tire of the repetitive patterns, some with hundreds of similar-looking creatures.
With only the barest suggestion of a narrative—exploring implied settings from morning to night—and no compelling character to relate to, it is likely that this book will compel children who are not serious puzzle aficionados to search for something else. (Picture book. 4-8)