cover image Look!


Jeff Mack. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16205-3

A gorilla finds a stack of books. He doesn’t seem aware of the literary potential they hold, but as objects, the possibilities for goofiness are evident: books can be worn, juggled, even balanced on. It’s just the sort of discovery one friend would share with another—except that the gorilla’s friend, a human boy, is glued to the TV. In keeping with the limited vocabularies of his Ah Ha! and Good News, Bad News, Mack employs just two words, “Look” and “Out,” in varying syntactical combinations, as the gorilla clamors for the boy’s attention, and the boy bats him away. (“Look!” for example, can express excitement or disappointment.) The slapstick action unfolds on linen-textured backgrounds, battered vintage book covers, and the actual pages of a book—hat-tips to the physicality of books that hint at a happy ending for bibliophiles of all ages. Even if audiences miss these winks and nods to the tactile pleasures of reading, they’ll still love that gorilla: hulking, eager-to-please and almost palpably furry, he’ll be welcome in any room. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Apr.)