Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Peekaboo Pals by Gareth Lucas

These aren't quite board books, but this is the closest category and the audience they're intended for, so here they are.

Opposites features colorful scenes with animals acting out the concept. There are also copious lift the flaps. A sample spread shows a pink beauty parlor. A lion getting a trim from a fox is labeled "Hairy"; lift the flap to see the bald (and shocked) lion afterwards. A yak with long bangs has the word "Straight" marching up the side of his flap; lift it to see his curly 'do with a cute bow. Finally, a zebra says "I need some color in my life!" in a "Before" picture. Lift the flap and it says "After" to match a rainbow-tinted mane and the zebra's panicked "Not every color!" to his disappearing stylist. The zebra is the only creature with any lines and after going through various scenes, including a city street, ocean, circus, bedtime, and more, a final spread shows the zebra's party, with double-fold-out flaps. Both pages fold out and have additional lift-the-flap tabs.

Peekaboo Pals: 1 2 3 is a counting book. Once again, zebra is the only talking animal and he urges various alliterative groupings of animals on in the "Animal Antics" race. The count starts with "One polar bear on a pogo stick" and continues through "Fifteen ferrets on a ferry" and up to "Twenty turtles on a train." It then goes by tens, thirty, forty and fifty and then finishes with "One hundred rabbits in a rocket." Each flap has the letter both in digital and alphabetical form (that doesn't sound quite right, but you know what I mean) and you lift the flap to reveal the animals and their transportation beneath. A little green snail shows up on each picture, hitching a ride to the finish line.

The final book in this set, Peekaboo Pals: A to Z also features alliterative animals. Each flap shows an animal and their letter. Lift the flap, and you'll see an alliterative sentence of the animal doing an action. From "A is for alligator admiring some art" to "M is for mouse making music with maracas" the text is workable but not particularly unique. Zebra once again follows along, making impatient comments as he waits for his turn, only to give the reader a little surprise under the Z flap.

The art is bright and cheerful and the text simple and works well for the age of the audience. The books themselves aren't, strictly speaking, board books. The pages are a thin cardboard - slightly thicker than shirt cardboard - and the flaps are shirt cardboard sturdiness. Each spread is folded and then bound together (it's hard to explain without seeing it) so the binding basically holds a handful of folded cardboard. I can tell by looking at it and touching it that's it's nowhere near as sturdy as a traditional board book and, apart from the tearing of the flaps, the spine will quickly disintegrate.

However, while I wouldn't recommend this for your board book section, I think it would make a fun addition to your pop-up section (if you have one) or for a toy section. I'll be adding them to my circulating toy collection and making them seem "special" will help keep them intact a little longer. They'd also be a great purchase for supervised lapsit or baby storytimes. The large size of many of the flaps will help build fine motor skills.

Verdict: A fun purchase if you are looking to add different types of pop-ups and movable books.

Peekaboo Pals: Opposites
ISBN: 9781626865228

Peekaboo Pals: 1 2 3

Peekaboo Pals: A to Z

Published 2016 by Silver Dolphin; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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