Stuff and Nonsense

David Pelham, Author, David Pelham, Illustrator . Simon & Schuster $14.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5907-6

Implementing pop-ups, tabs and flaps, these clever books offer kids more than meets the eye.

Stuff and Nonsense David Pelham . Simon & Schuster , $14.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-4169-5907-6

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.)

Reviewed on: 03/02/2009
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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