cover image Please, Open This Book!

Please, Open This Book!

Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Matthew Forsythe. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5071-4

In Warning: Do Not Open This Book! Lehrhaupt begged readers not to allow the animals in that book to escape; now, the animals plead with children to leave this book open, so they aren’t trapped inside. Lehrhaupt’s humor is sharper this time around, even edgy—a toucan and gator wear bandages, suggesting that shutting a book doesn’t just trap characters, it injures them. Set against black backgrounds, Forsythe’s digital artwork is equally attuned to the slightly sadistic mood. As book’s end approaches, he delivers an extreme close-up of a dewy-eyed monkey making its desperate plea to readers: “We’ll be good. Promise.” Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Oct.) [/em]