Opening suitcase-shaped flaps reveal what a magician, a doctor, a car mechanic, and others might carry to help them.
In the big, simple illustrations, anthropomorphic plushy animals with the proportions of toddlers pose in rows opposite suggestively shaped or decorated suitcases. The captions invite guessing who owns each bag, then lifting the (not-particularly-sturdy) glued-on flap to see what’s inside and taking another guess; turning the page shows the items in use. On verso stand Horse in a star-spangled robe, Piggy in a sailor’s top, and Dog in white scrubs; opposite, the white suitcase has a red cross on it. Turn the page: “Dog is a doctor. She takes care of Piggy and Horse at the hospital.” (Their suitcases reveal Horse to be a magician, Rabbit to be a mechanic, Cat to be a teacher, and Cow to be a musician; Piggy is a child.) Forced to wear a cast in the hospital scene and also being the recipient of an ugly drawing in the “teacher’s” classroom, Horse gets a rather raw deal here (“Why is Horse sad today?”), but the otherwise widespread smiles and generous measures of raw cuteness keep the overall tone light. The final suitcase contains a spare set of clothes, toothpaste, and a toy bear and belongs to Piggy, who is off to “sleep over” at Grandma and Grandpa’s. The final line, “What would you put in your suitcase?” invites lively discussion—as does, perhaps, the treatment of Horse’ experiences.
The flaps will probably not survive heavy use, but children curious about what might go inside bags and luggage will get an eyeful. (Picture book/novelty. 3-5)