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David Miles, illus. by Natalie Hoopes. Familius (familius.com), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-939629-65-4
Miles (Mrs. McFig and the Very Big Wig) and newcomer Hoopes celebrate the power of books to entertain, transport, and inspire. “This is a book,” Miles begins. “Black words on white paper. No buttons. No bonus levels.” (He clearly knows his competition.) The opening pages are indeed simply black type on white backgrounds, but the words grows larger as Miles encourages readers to look “closer, and closer, and closer” until the letters erupt into colorful worlds of undersea animals, rocket ships, and distant mountaintops. A boy, first seen crawling from behind one of the letters, enters a world of floating islands, dirigibles, and hot-air balloons, before going on to receive a key from a witch, dance with fairy-tale creatures, and use the key to unlock a door, out of which pour books and words representing knowledge and truth. The writing can be a bit overblown (“Where imagination scrapes the skies of opportunity, the forests of what-could-be stretch beyond the horizon”), but Hoopes’s intricately detailed illustrations conjure expansive yet cozy imaginary landscapes that readily evoke the possibilities that await within books. Ages 3–5. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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