If anyone ever embodied a name, it's Mister Doodle.
This nimble sketch sets off on his own alphabetic search-and-discovery. Mixed-media scenes keep thin lines the focal point as vivid photographed accents pop with color. This trek yields some refreshing finds; in the aquarium, the Xiphia swims in the foreground, with the traditional X-ray the afterthought. Answers move forward in upbeat, measured phrases; the stamp-sized key in the back shows some additional connections, though not a comprehensive list. “Keep your eyes open / and on each page you’ll see / not just one word for each letter but at least two or three!” The hunt requires an understanding of vocabulary to find all the hidden gems (a Car that is also a Cab appears for the letter C along with City skyscrapers). This fast-moving romp through outdoor orchards and interior scenes lacks elaboration. “G is for Garden / H is for Hay / I is for Igloo where Inuit play.” The man’s canine companion exhibits human mannerisms, jumping up on two paws for the catch or balancing his patterned umbrella. The intricacy will delight preschoolers but confound babies and toddlers; format notwithstanding, this is not a book for babies.
A searching doozy for older kids, but for the youngest perusers, it’s a developmental dud. (Board book. 3-4)