cover image The Belly Book

The Belly Book

Fran Manushkin, illus. by Dan Yaccarino. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-312-64958-6

“Bellies, we love you smooth or hairy./ On the mountains! On the prairie!” With snappy rhymes, bright bold graphics, and a winning sense of playfulness, Manushkin follows The Tushy Book with a salute to the body’s middle ground, this time teaming up with Yaccarino (All the Way to America). Bellies are a receptacle for lint (“Where it comes from, no one knows!”), and remind us of where we came from (“Once upon a time, your mummy/ grew you—right inside her tummy”); they’re where “everything lands,” food-wise, and essential to both a belly flop and belly dance. With a saturated palette, streamlined verve, and visual winks reminiscent of midcentury poster art, Yaccarino makes every page pop and never runs out of ways to render and frame a conceit: two loosely sketched figures display the difference between innies and outies, while a spread dedicated to pink, brown, round, and flat bellies has echoes of Mondrian. He’s especially good at creating images with a mirroring element: one standout spread shows identical curly-headed twins reaching across the page to tickle each other’s bellies with feathers. Ages 2–5. (Nov.)