With a loud “Eek!” an ostrich named Bird hides its head in the sand at every “peep.”
Elephant encourages ostrich to “Peek, Bird!” The originator of the “peep” turns out to be only the friendly Ape. This simple scenario is repeated when Sloth peeps, but when it’s a mouse that peeps, Elephant is the one crying, “EEEEEEK!” Now it’s Bird’s turn to encourage Elephant to “peek,” before all the animals play a game of hide-and-seek. In companion title Stop, Fox! the action focuses on the talkative Fox, who bothers Bird, Ape, and Cub (a bear) with incessant chatter. But Fox’s talking puts Sloth to sleep. The uncluttered layout in both titles is a plus, but the artwork is otherwise undistinguished. The simply rendered animals have a generic look that nevertheless may result in confusion. Ape, for instance, has a tail even though apes are tailless, and masked Sloth may well easily be initially mistaken for a raccoon. Bird has an ostrich’s characteristically luxuriant lashlike fringe at the eyes and is the only animal gendered female in the publisher copy (no characters are gendered in the text). The sentences are brief and repetitive, but the text’s brevity means that words may not be repeated frequently enough to be absorbed by the youngest readers. Hide and Peek uses just 17 words with three basic sentence patterns. The 30-word story in Stop, Fox! is more fully developed, with sentences and phrases repeated more frequently.
A slight story that’s more useful than it is satisfying. (Early reader. 4-7)