cover image My Book Box

My Book Box

Will Hillenbrand, . . Harcourt, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-202029-3

Like a child who finds the plain cardboard box far more interesting than what came packaged inside it, so an elephant and his frog friend imagine various answers to the opening spread's query, "What can I do with a box?"Much of Hillenbrand's (What a Treasure! ) simple text serves as essentially one long response: "I can make a bug box... or a pizza box... or a toy box," etc. The playful protagonists experience a eureka moment when they hit upon "book box" ("Great idea!" declares the pachyderm). The balance of the tale demonstrates that the book box is truly a "treasure box," allowing the buddies all sorts of reading adventures and pleasures. Originally crafted as the kickoff for a summer reading program at the author's local library, this title conveys a subtle yet infectious reading-is-terrific vibe that offers universal appeal any time of year. Set against plentiful white space, the mixed-media compositions in a fiesta-bright palette with black outline pop from the pages, and delicately colored lines act as page borders to provide an arresting combination of texture and simplicity. Ages 2-5. (Aug.)