Labeled a "giant fold-out book," this appealing and colorful animal book contains a series of six riddles that even the youngest child will delight in solving again and again. On the first heavystock page is an illustration of what appears to be a large gray and white tail. Underneath, in big, black print, is the question, "Who am I?" On the facing all-black page is a clue, in big white letters: "I gather acorns." Now lift up the right-hand page and you'll see the animal's gray body and four paws. Oh, look! On the light blue flap above, there's another clue: "I have a big furry tail." The only part not visible yet is its head, but your child, nestled contentedly on your lap, will start hollering, "It's a squirrel." Really? Open up that final flap for the complete picture of a life-sized squirrel, staring balefully at you with his big brown and black eyes. In huge black letters, it states, "I'm a SQUIRREL!" The 18" by 18" illustration is a blast of colors-yellow sky, orange ground and acorns, indigo buildings in the background, and, center stage, that big gray squirrel looking like you startled him when you opened the page.
Children won't get tired of refolding the sturdy pages and opening them up again. (I couldn't stop doing it, either.) SPOILER ALERT: Other animals depicted include a dog, cat, horse, pigeon, and mouse. Continue the fun with the companion book, Simms Taback's Safari Animals. Older children could make their own oversized pictures of animals they love, writing clues, and folding and cutting the page in the same manner as the book. If they are pre-literate, you do the writing, and help with the folding and cutting. (Tell them you are collaborating, which is what authors and illustrators do all the time.) Play an I Spy animal riddle game, starting with general clues and becoming more specific: "Who am I? I have wings." "A bird?" "No. I buzz." "A fly?" "No. I drink nectar from flowers." "A butterfly?" "No. I can sting." "A bee!" "Exactly!"
Follow up with the hilarity of Andy Rash's Are You a Horse, where a cowboy goes looking for a horse to go with the saddle he received for his birthday present. Trouble is, he doesn't know what a horse looks like.
THEMES: ANIMALS. CITIES AND TOWNS. TOYS.
Blue Apple Books, 2009
Suggested Ages: 0-6