cover image The Everything Book

The Everything Book

Denise Fleming. Henry Holt & Company, $19.99 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6292-2

Part concept book, part word book and part nursery rhyme anthology, Fleming's (In the Small, Small Pond) vibrant picture-book hodgepodge surely lives up to its title. Exuberant spreads teeming with brightly hued animals, plants, objects and for the first time in Fleming's oeuvre a cast of children, introduce numbers, colors, the alphabet, body parts and seasons. Simple rhymes (""Cock-a-doodle-do!/ Hello! Good day!/ Good morning to you!""), most of them anonymous, are interspersed throughout, like gentle breaks between more learning-oriented pages. Fleming is at the top of her game, depicting a seemingly endless number of bold color combinations using her technique of ""painting"" with dyed cotton pulp and handmade stencils. Her richly textured compositions beg to be pored over and touched. Fans will delight in seeing familiar elements from many of Fleming's earlier works (In the Tall, Tall Grass; Lunch!; Count!) freshly updated here. And readers young and old will want to accept the challenge of finding the 119 ladybugs that crawl or fly across the pages of this lively outing. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)