Szekeres's (I Love My Busy Book) insight into toddlers is once again in evidence in this spunky series introducing an energetic young mouse. In the first and strongest entry, Toby complains of boredom (""I need to be busy!""), and his ability to occupy himself runs through the quartet of titles. The dialogue is right on target: Toby's mother suggests that he help his stuffed dinosaurs to ""do some exercises""; he holds them in his hands as he runs around and jumps up and down, then announces, ""Now we are very strong!"" Later, he curls up in Mama's lap with his toys when she says, ""It is time for dinosaurs to nap."" The three subsequent installments are concept books that cover the alphabet, colors and feelings. Toddlers are likely to warm up to Szekeres's affable, anthropomorphic hero despite a few inconsistencies. On his ""alphabet walk,"" for instance, Toby collects objects beginning with each letter; some are to scale and others are not (the dandelion he picks looks appropriately taller than he is, but the eggshell and the onion he collects are proportionally too small). The author's spirited artwork offers winsome particulars: an upside-down can of cat food serves as a table; Toby sleeps in a sardine can supported by four pencils as bedposts, while Hercules, his pet ant, curls up beside him on a leaf covered with a miniature quilt. These paper-over-board books feature snappy, color-coded covers and sturdy, coated stock that will withstand vigorous page-turning and rereadings. Ages 1-5. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000 Release date: 06/01/2000 Genre: Children's
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