Friday, June 21, 2013

Open This Little BookOpen This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What Jesse Klausmeier’s “Open This Little Book,”  lacks in plot, it makes up for in cleverness and creativity. This is one of those books that is so clever in its concept that I found myself thinking, “I wish I had thought of that.” Klausmeier and artist Suzy Lee have come up with a book that makes the page turn an exciting event and have so smartly integrated it into the book’s concept that this is one book (like a pop-up book) I can’t imagine ever working on a Kindle. Part of the genius of this book is the change in page/paper size as the book unfolds. The title page itself is smaller than the page that comes before it and each page after that gets physically smaller until you get to the middle of the book where the pages start getting larger again. Now this may not seem like a stroke of genius to you, but the author and artist have brilliantly combined this size-changing concept with a simple series of events that will teach kids about size relationships, colors, animals, patterns and the joys of reading. One thing that I didn’t even notice on my first read was that the color palette changes as the story goes along. Each turn of the page adds another new color until the reader gets to the final illustration where the reader is rewarded with a beautiful illustration that uses the entire rainbow spectrum of color that we’ve been slowly introduced to. Suzy Lee’s illustrations, which in a few places remind me of William Steig, are charming and the last illustration in the book is so delightful, it gets my vote for best children’s book illustration of the year! This is a really clever and fun book.

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