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Great Illustrated Books

Open This Little Book

By Jesse Klausmeier

Chronicle Books, 2013
Pages : 36
Suggested Ages: 3-6
ISBN: 9780811867832

When children are encouraged to open this book, they will be irresistibly drawn deeper into a die-cut series of ever smaller books that work together as a playful cumulative tale about friends who read together. Youngsters, eager to become one of this circle of friends, will revisit this book again and again. Best of all, as a result of the repetitive language and visual clues, they will be reading in no time!

It begins when children follow the instructions: "Open this . . . / Little Red Book," the largest of the books, appealingly bright red with black polka dots -- fitting because this is a book about "Ladybug, who opens a . . . Little Green Book." The green book is medium-sized and covered with a pattern of raindrops and lily pads. Children will jump to guess who is next: Frog! Rabbit joins them in the Orange Book, Bear in the Yellow Book until, in a dramatic surprise, a Giant appears in the smallest book of all! No worries: Giant just needs a little help opening her Little Rainbow Book because, following perfect child-friendly logic, her hands are too big! Demonstrating brilliant book design, once opened the Little Rainbow Book appears in the centerfold and is indeed surrounded by the colorful spray created by all the other open books. This is where all the other characters read a story to their new-found friend about "a ladybug, who reads a story about / a frog, who reads a story about / a rabbit, who reads a story about / a bear, who reads a story about / a giant whose friends read her a story about . . . / a ladybug, a frog, a rabbit, a bear, and a giant!" The opening process is repeated in reverse when they each close their books.

The first Red Book features nice big illustrations and type. As the books get smaller, so do the pictures and typeface, providing a feeling of intimacy children will adore. The smaller fonts will help burgeoning readers as they develop the fine motor skill -- moving their eyes across a page to track type and notice word and line breaks -- that they need to practice to become more fluent readers. And of course, the fact that they understand the structure of the story and can anticipate the repeated phrases gives them the reassurance they need to be successful. At the end of this experience, children will enthusiastically follow the advice provided on the last page: that is, after closing this book, open another!

Reviewed by : JMcD

Themes : ANIMALS. BEHAVIOR. EASY READERS. FRIENDSHIP.

If you love this book, then try:

Jeffers, Oliver.This Moose Belongs to Me. Philomel, 2012.


Klassen, Jon. This is Not My Hat. Candlewick, 2012.


Vaccaro Seeger, Laura. Green. Roaring Brook, 2012.

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Critics have said

"Makes a lovely point: that readers and those they read about can enjoy a relationship that looks a lot like friendship."
Publishers Weekly