“It’s a book! It’s a game! It’s Super Bookgame!”
As the cover art teases, this is both a game and a riddle book, with clever illustrations providing clues. This companion to Take Away the A (2014), created by the same team, immediately engages readers in the wordplay. The two pages following the title set the scene, as three white mice carting a pencil say, “Let’s go search for hidden words.” First up is the question, “Who is the headmaster?” The answer is the hamster, who is standing on a stack of books ringing a school bell. “Who is hiding behind the castle?” A cat’s ears poke up behind the toy structure. “Who is the clown?” A brown cow juggles the three mice. The answers are found in the color of the type: the dropped letters are set in black, and the remaining, red letters form the new word. All of the characters are creatures of one sort or another, and the three impish mice appear in each scene. One peeks out of a crayon box while the other two tie a string on the cat’s tail; they play at folding paper on the page where a snake makes snowflakes. All together, the textured, humorous illustrations tell a story about a boisterous day in an elementary school, culminating in a slate-blue bird’s birthday—that’s crashed by a baboon: “BOO!” The interplay on the pages is whimsical, charming, and overflowing with fun.
In a word: outstanding. (Picture book. 5-12)