Hide and Seek

Anthony Browne. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0260-1
Casting about for a way to cheer themselves up after their dog goes missing, Cy and his older sister, Poppy, decide to play hide-and-seek in the woods around their trailer. It’s autumn; Browne (Willy and the Cloud) paints the tree branches, the long shadows, and the leaves on the forest floor in quiet, careful detail, and Poppy’s bright red sweater and the pompom on Cy’s cap pop against the earth-toned spreads. Cy runs past huge gnarled tree trunks and strangely twisted branches into a shelter made of sticks (“This is a good place, he thought. She’ll never find me here”). A suspenseful atmosphere gathers as Poppy, baffled, looks and looks, and Cy, worried, waits and waits. All is well in the end, and Browne offers readers a chance to do some seeking of their own as a list on the final page reveals that a giraffe, a crocodile, a trumpet, and more lie hidden in the forest. With the list in hand, the bare trees that seemed threatening reveal unexpected and often whimsical objects. Using spare words and subtle artistic details, Browne captures slippery, mysterious emotional shifts, from play to fear and back again, that many children will recognize. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2018
Release date: 11/13/2018
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