cover image Don’t Blink!

Don’t Blink!

Tom Booth. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-11736-6

The staring contest: it’s a refreshingly low-tech competition, and Booth (Who Wins?) captures the silly thrill of it all. His story opens with a bright-eyed girl sitting cross-legged in a minimally rendered outdoor setting. She looks straight at the reader, shouts “Go,” and assumes a fixed (but always amiable) gaze. Animals trickle onto the scene, politely ask to join, and are welcomed to do so—“Just don’t blink,” the girl reminds the newcomers. Within a few pages, nearly a dozen creatures have joined this battle of wills, each assuming a goofy, glassy look. “Don’t blink, don’t blink, don’t blink, don’t blink,” shouts the girl as weary eyes begin to narrow, but something’s eventually got to give. A normally instantaneous reflex is stretched out over three very funny spreads, and the reader is declared the winner. (Equally funny is a tortoise’s glacial progress across the page to see what’s going on.) Ingenious, interactive, and just meta enough, it may even convince a few reluctant readers that staring at a book can be a lot of fun. Ages 3–6. Agent: Rick Richter, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary. (June)