As a girl sits with her father reading a book, she goes on a fantastical adventure.
The art and layout are unusual from the start. The text begins on the page facing the title page—“Hello there, says Chair,” is printed above an inviting, overstuffed chair in a comfy nook, book on its cushion—and the title page itself continues the text. On the acknowledgment pages, a generic white man sits on Chair with book in hand, and a small white girl—apparently his daughter—climbs up beside him. Gentle rhymes continue the story, as the chair and its occupants glide into the book’s world with “a look, a listen, // and a touch as such.” There follow pages of whimsical paintings of the girl happily interacting with various objects, sometimes oversized, sometimes realistically sized, all of which are described with adjectives and some of which also include extra rhymes: “I am gluey says Snail / (with its tail in a pail.)” The adventures crescendo as the girl flies on a silky crow and sees a steamy “Loco” approaching. Papa suggests a break, and the pair enjoy cocoa and cake on Chair. The ending brings the energy down to a good place for bedtime. Art and text together are enjoyably quirky, but the connection of the girl’s flights of fancy to the reading experience is a little hard to determine, given the frame story’s similarity of tone to the accretion of objects and adjectives within.
As a celebration of the codex, it is but one of many; as a celebration of the surreal, it excels. (Picture book. 3-6)