This board book introduces an odd mix of caution and mayhem.
The cover proclaims “10 BIG and SCARY FLAPS,” but there are actually 11, counting the half-page cover, which hides a witch chasing a wolf, who is scaring a ghost. On the final spread the wolf returns to be scared by a “Boo!” from young readers. In large font, the text invites children to tickle an ogre, knock a witch off her broom, startle an ostrich, etc. Predicting each cartoon creature’s response is part of the fun. Will they be happy when the flap is opened? Usually they are scared, not scary. Some adults may balk at suggestions like “Stick your tongue out at the dragon” or “the lion is sleeping. Now’s a good time to poke him.” In both cases the behavior elicits an angry reception, so youngsters may understand that this was not particularly good advice to follow. The interaction with a seemingly friendly crab is less clear. When that flap is lifted, the crab threatens to pinch. Is the lesson to not trust strangers? Or just to avoid crabs? The reactions are clear in the bright, uncluttered illustrations behind large, easily manipulated flaps. However, the black type is difficult to read when set on the occasional dark, low-contrast background.
A raucous if slightly opaque addition to storytime. (Board book. 1-3)