Stuff and Nonsense
Implementing pop-ups, tabs and flaps, these clever books offer kids more than meets the eye.
A factory line of buck-toothed mice work together to build a secret-something in this energetic book. Carting an assortment of colorful shapes in a caravan that continues on to the last page, the toylike mice’s enthusiasm never wanes, despite a few near-disasters. “Bumpy-bump! Clumpy-clump! Squeaky-squeaky... Bash!/ Hoppy faster, leg in plaster, trippy-trippy... Crash!” Readers can feel the textures of the shapes in relief: golden “scaly stuff” feels like a lizard’s skin; “scratchy stuff,” like sandpaper; and “wrinkly stuff,” like crepe paper. Though they are “very busy,” several mice still take a moment to stare, with deadpan expressions, at the reader. Although the two titular mice don’t really stand out from the pack (they are all equally appealing) the pop-up finale feels satisfying, after the buildup. All ages. (Feb.)
Release date: 02/01/2009