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GO WILD WITH... DESIGNS by Neal Layton


by Neal Layton & illustrated by Neal Layton

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84365-176-5
Publisher: Trafalgar Square

Single-word labels highlight a creative range of designs.

Animal bodies and patterns comprise this repertoire of recognizable shapes. Some examples include natural markings found on animals' bodies, such as a Dalmatian’s spots or a giraffe's patches; others exploit the actual nuance of the body. Among the latter, the "star" made by the sea star is obvious, while the curve of the swan's neck may require adult interpretation for children to understand. Even the unadorned hippo gets a chance to shine; the accompanying text reads “plain.” Some arrangements extend into the background; the zebra's stripes find an echo in the blades of grass. Other background scenes seem boldly barren. The British import adds a child-friendly emphasis to the subjects' appearances through wobbly dark lines, googly-eyed faces and disproportionate limbs. There's not a menacing creature to be found; even the slithering reptile wears a timid expression. Arrows serve as a fitting final shape, as the bird's feet march right off the page. In Go Wild with…Noises, appropriate sounds correspond to living creatures, both wild and domestic; the elephant (“thump”) lumbers with stomping feet.

Overall, this colorful concept connects the right dots for a toddler audience. (Board book. 1-3)