Further evidence that, for young children at least, boxes are gifts that keep on giving.
Thomas, Alice, Sam, and Nancy each have a carton that, with the lift of a flap—or in Nancy’s case, several nested flaps—reveals a toy or other surprise. Following a brief round of play, the children then turn to the empties: “Whatever do you think they’ll do with all those boxes? Well….” More-elaborate play ensues, as the cartons are combined, altered, and decorated to serve as a castle, a ship, a stage, a tall foldout rocket, an even larger gatefold train, and finally a cozy nest just right for a collective snooze. The theme isn’t exactly new, but the narrative’s leading questions and the large, cleanly drawn figures of bigheaded children and their creative efforts make this a particularly simple and direct explication. Thomas, Alice, and Sam are all fair; Nancy has brown skin and kinky hair. Following up with the likes of Ethan Long’s Out of the Box (2014) or Suzanne Bloom’s A Mighty Fine Time Machine (2009) may prompt deeper digs into the imaginative possibilities.
A bright and cozy excursion down a well-toddled path. (Novelty picture book. 3-6)