Fred, is That You?: A Lift-The-Flap Book

Mavis Smith, Author Little Brown and Company $7.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-316-80241-3
Smith ( When the TV Broke ) uses the covers and front endpapers to jump-start this beguilingly simple lift-the-flap book. Webbed footprints end at a white duck eyeing a photograph of a contemporary: ``Fred.'' The protagonist follows variously shaped tracks to a flap on each spread, each time asking, ``Fred, is that you?'' Fred is not to be found, but the various flaps, ingeniously integrated into the illustrations as a gate, a beach umbrella, refrigerator door, etc., reveal the creatures that made the tracks. Each one, from a cow carrying a handbag to a boy scuba-diving in the bathtub, answers the increasingly puzzled quacker in simple and delicious rhyming couplets--`` `No, I'm Midge,' said a snake from the fridge.'' Footprints can be deceiving, as the duck (and the reader) learns, but the two friends are finally united and they track off wing-in-wing into a glorious sunset. Though adults might quibble that some of the footprints bear little resemblance to real ones, their juniors will be too busy lifting up the flaps and enjoying the bright, cartoony pictures to bother with such trifles. Ages 2-6. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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