Pop-up, Toy, and Flap Books
Educational Insights. Shelby’s Snack Shack. Candlewick, 03/2018. [12p.] $9.99. 978-0-7636-9873-7. Based on a preschool board game of the same title, the book version focuses on counting, just like the game. The reader is encouraged to help a pug dog find bones buried in the sand, by lifting small flaps on each page. The items are found in twos, so there is some simple addition to the lesson. Libraries will find this popular and useful, and the small flaps and board pages will hold up to library usage. The cartoonish full color artwork is pleasant although not distinctive.
Flyte, Min. Would You Dare…? A Lift-the-flap Adventure. Illus. by Matt Hunt. Nosy Crow, 11/2017. [20p.] $14.99. 978-0-7636-9619-1. In this picture book with sturdy flaps, a little boy sets off on a walk in the jungle. The narrative is a dialogue between the boy and the reader: “Okay, so which would you DARE to walk past?” Many readers will guess that the jungle animals he sees are not real (a lion and tiger do not live on the same continent), because the boy lives in a regular-looking house and the “jungle” looks like a neighborhood park. The full-color artwork has a fun cartoonish style, and the flaps are similar to those used in Eric Hill’s “Spot” books, so they should hold up to library circulation. A fun choice for storytime.
Goodreau, Sarah. The World-Famous Book of Counting. Candlewick, 04/2018. [16p.] $18.99. 978-0-7636-9894-2. Using a style of old vaudeville or music hall posters, this counting book includes both the numeral and word for the number, and things to count. The originality is in the large pop-ups, flaps, and other movable parts, but they make this too delicate for library circulation. For example, the four doves or seven playing cards pop-up vertically and will easily tear. A nice book for home purchase but not for libraries.
Mansfield, Andy. See the Stripes. Candlewick Studio, 03/2018. [12p.] $15. 978-0-7636-9895-9. Similar to Mansfield’s Find the Dots (2017), this is not quite as successful because the tabs are more difficult to manipulate. The concept is similar to a Rubik’s cube – readers need to fold or pull small tabs to “Find a red stripe,” or “Find an orange stripe.” This could be useful to a geometry teacher for a lesson, but overall, there just isn’t enough here to indicate a library purchase.
Miller, Sara. Disney: My ABC. Illus. by Jerrod Maruyama. Disney Press, 04/2018, [14p.] $9.99. 978-136801397-0. Using board pages with gatefold flaps on the outer side of each page, this alphabet of Disney characters shows both upper and lower case letters. Each letter features a sentence with alliteration, to reinforce the letter: “Mickey Mouse makes a mark on his map.” Although many libraries try to avoid overly commercial picture books, this will be popular and does a good job with the alphabet lesson. Because the flaps are made from the board pages, they are very sturdy.
Rosen, Michael. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Changing Picture Book. Illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Candlewick, 05/2018. [18p.] $18.99. 978-0-7636-9601-6. Adapted from the popular storytime staple, this uses the same Oxenbury pastel illustrations, just in a different format. Each spread begins the same as the original picture book, with the text on the left; it contains the beginning chant and the area being hiked through, such as the grass, river, etc. On the right is a window with a tab, showing the beginning of the hike and after pulling the tab, how it was navigated. The last few pages feature the original multi-paneled conclusion. Although the tabs and windows are sturdy, libraries should purchase one copy just for storytime use as well as circulating copies.
Scheffler, Axel. Flip Flap Ocean. Nosy Crow, 06/2018. [24p.] $11.99. 978-0-7636-9942-0. Similar to Scheffler’s previous books Flip Flap Farm (2014) and Flip Flap Safari (2015), this spiral bound toy book features thick laminated pages split in half horizontally, so you can mix up the animal head and legs to make new imaginary animals. For example, you can make a Tolphin – half turtle, half dolphin. Each page contains two four-line rhymes which also split in half; the rhymes are lively although not especially memorable, even though they give some animal facts. The colorful cartoon-style artwork features fairly realistic animals but with bug-eyes and smiling facial expressions. Sure to be as popular as the previous two titles.
Walden, Libby. Forest: Hidden World. Illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman. 360 Degrees/Tiger Tales, 03/2018. [14p.] $14.99. 978-1-944530-3. Gatefold flaps are the distinguishing quality of this look at nature in the forest. Filled with facts that will interest primary graders who like nonfiction, each spread contains six topics (three on each page), that have flaps that open to reveal a sentence to two on that topic. For example, under Reeds it states “Some water birds build their nests out of reeds.” Subjects covered include plants, animals, pond life, insects, and habitats. The artwork depicts things in a fairly realistic manner and appear to be done using watercolors. A fun nature book for emergent readers.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool