Finnish graphic designer Kontinen brings her internationally popular world of digital animals to the U.S.
The Mokomaki are small birds with large black eyes that live in the forest of Mokomaka. These birds also like to travel, and as readers turn the introductory page, a giraffe parent implores the Mokomaki to help find its baby. With the clue “He’s the tiniest of all,” readers join the Mokomaki in sorting through three different baby giraffes to determine the correct one. In each double-page spread, another animal parent with an oversized head and equally big, expressive eyes asks for help in finding its lost baby. The task becomes increasingly challenging as the number of baby animals grows and the clues become more difficult. For instance, a monkey parent asks the Mokomaki to find its twins: “They’ve tied their tails in knots!” With 24 monkeys looping tails, joining hands, and pulling on tails, it’s a challenge even for adults to find a pair with knotted tails. Comments throughout by the little birds keep the book lively. Adult readers may find the static, geometrically composed animals uninspiring, but youngsters used to digital games and videos will have no qualms as they practice their visual literacy skills, sorting, counting, naming colors, and looking for clues.
While it’s not as creative as the works of Hervé Tullet, his fans may enjoy this different kind of interactive book. (Picture book. 2-6)