Van Fleet is known for pulling out every possible stop in his interactive books for toddlers — flaps to lift, sounds to make, textures to feel, smells to smell, movable parts to operate — and this extravaganza keeps the stimulation coming with bright photos of frisky dogs whose antics demonstrate colors. It’s a temple to the toddler sensibility: Orange is a patch of pumpkins, autumn leaves and a napping cat that scampers up a tree, pop-up-book style, when a puppy gives chase; green brings a swamp, summer grass and a wave of canine flatulence that, with a tug on a rounded lever-like flap, noisily appears as a green cloud under a beagle’s waggable tail. The rhyming is casual, but the words are not really the point. The extras are irresistible, and the whole thing is big and solid enough for tiny hands to create a lot of action without ripping the pages.
Maria Russo, September 3, 2015
A chunky board book about colors features photographs of dogs and incorporates many interactive elements.
Even the front cover of this title is interactive. Pull a large red tab, and a bulldog’s head moves back and forth as he chews on the shoelace of a red tennis shoe. Inside, further interactive features, rhyming text, and illustrations featuring cute pups and their adorable antics await. For example, the orange pages offer a collage of pumpkins, autumn foliage, puppies, and a cat, reading: “Orange the patch of pumpkins, / Orange the autumn leaves, / Orange the frumpy, napping cat… / that I chase up a tree.” One of the pumpkins is a flap that conceals the face of a precious pup, and another, larger flap hides a pop-up tree branch on which an orange kitty perches. Other pages incorporate some more noxious surprises, such as: “Green the swamp I love to swim in, / Green the summer grass, / Green the color of the air… / when my dog food gives me gas.” Pull the tab here to trigger a large green cloud that emanates from the back end of a suitably embarrassed-looking basset hound.
This ambitious, interactive exploration of color will be of particular appeal to dog lovers. (Board book. 2-5)
September 21st, 2015
Dogs already held the spotlight in Van Fleet and Stanton’s Dog (2007), and this interactive follow-up features them in spreads devoted to almost a dozen colors. Tabs, flaps, pop-ups, and textures augment the bouncy rhymes and adorable photos. “Red the fire hydrant,/ Red the bouncing balls,/ Red my furry blankie—/ gnaw, gnaw, gnaw!” writes Van Fleet as a pull-tab makes one dog’s head shake back and forth as it tugs at a cloth blanket. Scratch-and-sniff elements on the “yellow” page only go so far as flowers and dirty socks, thankfully, ignoring a certain puddle.
Ages 2–up. (Aug.)