In this jolly import, spotting the largest bottom, the barest belly, the widest mouth and like superlatives in a loose gathering of children, animals and animate toys preparing to put on a circus will draw young viewers into all sorts of visual funny business.
It’s a messy affair. On the first spread alone, one child hauls in miscellaneous lumber and tools, while another creates party hats and noses for himself and several toys. Still another gives a piglet a sudsy bath near a dog diving into a pot of what looks like tomato soup, and yet another samples an array of perfumes next to a toddler proffering a full, stinking potty to a grimacing monkey. The pairings change and the clutter increases in successive scenes, as the stage goes up, costumes go on, signs (and pigs) get painted, and at last, the solutions to the titular and related questions present themselves (though they were easy enough to identify earlier). Suspended in white space with only pale shadows for background, Cate’s watercolor figures fill but don’t crowd the pages, and they throw themselves into the preparations with infectious smiles and high spirits.
A quick bit of fun for fans of Bob Staake’s Look! A Book! (2011) and like seek-and-find scrambles. (Picture book. 3-6)