A busy book tests the patience of young children who are just learning to read pictures.
Each double-page spread focuses on a vehicle type: flying machines, cars, farm equipment, bikes, and so on. But there’s something odd in each category. Is that wheel made of a lemon and that one a pizza? Actually, yes. Leading questions are posed on each spread. Side-by-side scenes of emergency equipment and boats seem identical, but readers are invited to look more closely to find 10 differences. A bit of information, often without any picture clue, is included on each spread. For example, a sentence about horses and carriages runs across the bottom of the car spread, but there are no horses or carriages shown. Instead, the rather arbitrary instructions are to “spot three squirrels” and “count ten trees.” An answer key on the final spread may allay the frustration of both child and adult readers. Animals, published simultaneously, uses a similar format with beasts from different biomes. The subtle differences will challenge the board-book set, so they are best studied with a helpful adult or older sibling. Older children may be put off by the board pages and will easily remember the answers.
With its companion, a suitable introduction to the puzzles found in dentist-office magazines, with the same short-term appeal. (Board book. 2-4)