The star of this rhyming story, a wispy-haired boy just big enough to carry a picnic basket filled with ``lots to drink and lots to eat,'' is all set to dine, but his stuffed animal friends are nowhere to be found. And ``without them a picnic just isn't the same.'' One by one, he locates them (as do readers, via flaps) behind a curtain and flower pot, under a blanket, and in a box filled with socks. The book's generous amount of white space highlights Butterworth's clean lines and colors, for an understated yet whimsical effect. Moreover, the array of recognizable expressions on the characters' faces, from curious wonder (``Where can George and Hippo be?'') to pure joy when the gang is reunited in the end (``Hello, Hippo!''), allow toddlers to read something in the story other than words. The flaps, however, may not be sturdy enough for repeated use by little hands. Ages 1-5. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995 Release date: 09/01/1995 Genre: Children's
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