Patricelli’s mischievous, gender-indeterminate cherub claims to be tickle-proof, but readers know the giggles are inevitable.
Dad (aka “tickle Monster”) finds all the places on this diaper-clad tot’s body that are ticklish, such as legs, feet and tummy (everywhere, in fact). Mom, a licking dog, and a playful kitty get into the act too in the one of the book’s central double-page spreads. When the youngster has had too much, the little one yells “Stop,” and the family kindly obliges and commences kissing, slurping and purring instead. In a final dare to readers and their grown-ups, the child boldly proclaims “I am not ticklish! / Are you?” In the companion title, Toot, the same half-naked toddler celebrates flatulence, declaring in the end that “All toots are funny!” No child is going to argue with that point. Patricelli’s trademark style of thick black lines on brushstroke-heavy backgrounds in jewel-tone colors are perfectly suited to her playful and irreverent subject matter. The young protagonist narrates both offerings in simple, direct sentences, and Patricelli fills the rest of the books with captions and sound effects galore (including “fart,” natch). Both titles are playful delights.
Here’s hoping this cheeky tyke never grows up so young readers and their delighted grown-ups can enjoy more adventures (and misadventures, too). (Board book. 6 mos.-3)