cover image This Book Is Spineless

This Book Is Spineless

Lindsay Leslie, illus. by Alice Brereton. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62414-658-9

A fearful book narrates this interactive collaboration. The text asserts that the book is “a real scaredy-pants” who doesn’t “even want to hear about an adventure,” let alone take part in one. But with the reader present for moral support, the volume builds the courage to brave the next spread, facing a new challenge with each page turn. Brereton’s style shifts from scene to scene as each introduces an approachably scary situation for young readers to face (a Rorschach blot, chain-draped ghosts, a noir-tinged mystery, and more). In-text opportunities to engage listeners feature each of the five senses, and illustrations skillfully depict the ways fear affects each. (“Do you feel something? I’m a bit dizzy” the sociable book says about a space adventure.) Clever illustration effects (the odor from a “whiffy wolverine or stinky skunk” makes the pages appear to curl) and the anxious book-as-character combine to create a winning story about handling the unknown and asking for help. Ages 4–8. [em](Feb.) [/em]