An interactive board book about farm animals with sliding tabs.
Deneux deploys his usual simple, bold, labeled illustrations with an eye to palette and a play on color. This board book uses only three colors—orange, black, and white—which may strike some as odd given the illustrations include a pig and a donkey. Readers are invited to slide a tab with a die-cut circle for a fingertip either up and down or back and forth in order to alter details on the animal: An eye opens, a beak turns orange, hooves appear. The illustrations are certainly fun to look at, and the sliding feature is inviting and compelling (even adults will want to try it out). What’s puzzling, though, is the purpose of the sliding, aside from perhaps engaging little readers’ fine-motor skills. What changes about each animal seems arbitrary, sometimes altering them from a single, solid black-on-white or white-on-black silhouette to a figure with some details; others simply add or subtract details. On one page, the chicks disappear and reappear altogether, the only such animal to do that in the book. Thus the book doesn’t seem to be about a play on outlines and shapes, or a play on disappearing and reappearing, or really any one thing except an amusing little gimmick that activates colors and patterns.
The fun of this one is in the manipulative elements, even if they don’t make the book wow. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)