Felt manipulatives set this simple board book apart from other lift-the flap books.
The slight story imported from France relies on repetition. “Little Chick is looking for his mama. Can you help him find her? / Is she in the tree? / No, that’s a bird.” In addition to the songbird, the charming baby finds a duck and a goose before reuniting with his mama in the chicken coop. Each of these animals is concealed behind a felt flap. On first read, most young children will not be able to guess what animal may be hidden. A speck of yellow that is the duckling’s tail poking from “behind the reeds” and a bit of the goose’s beak partially shown “behind the gate” are extremely subtle hints, and the songbird and Mother Hen are totally hidden. Still, the pattern is easily learned. Little fingers will quickly move the felt flaps out of the way, though they may become soiled or torn when subjected to normal toddler handling. The flap on the cover, cut in the shape of half an eggshell, may not survive the Easter basket. Huang’s cheerful illustrations in pink, orange, teal, yellow, and white match the season but bear little relation to colors children might see in nature. Greenery is orange, teal, or pink—not spring green. The reeds look like an orange crown, and the cloud-shaped piece of felt that hides the bird is orange, as are the other leaves on the tree.
Ephemeral, though cute while it lasts. (Board book. 1-3)