Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Up Hamster Down Hamster by Kass Reich

This little book reminded me of Kate Duke's guinea pig board books, sadly out of print.

A series of blocky hamsters illustrate various opposites. "IN hamster" shows the two little hamsters in a fishbowl, complete with flippers and bubbles. "OUT hamster" shows them outside the bowl, wrapped in cozy towels. There is "SHHH" and "SHOUT", "DAY" and "NIGHT", "LOST" and "FOUND". Each page is a couple that rhymes, ending with a panorama of all eight hamsters tucked into bed and then a last page that pictures all of them, bright and cheerful, with accessories.

The illustrations have broad lines with splashes of color that spread over the lines. Each page has a simple illustration - a hamster pulls a friend in a wagon - against a simple colored background. Yellow, gray, blue, and other pastels set off the subdued colors of the hamsters and their doings. The book is a smallish rectangle, about 4x6.

Verdict: I usually prefer bolder colors, photography, or more defined illustrations for board books, but this was a really cute concept and nicely done so a variety of ages can enjoy the silly antics of the hamsters on different levels. The only drawback is that Orca's board books tend to be pricy, ranging around $9. A nice addition to your board book collection if it's within your budget.

ISBN: 9781459810136; Published 2015 by Orca; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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