cover image Open This Little Book

Open This Little Book

Jesse Klausmeier, illus. by Suzy Lee. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8118-6783-2

Klausmeier’s debut is more conceptual novelty than story. The book opens to reveal a series of nested “books,” brightly colored covers that become smaller and smaller as readers work toward the center. “Open this... Little Red Book,” it starts, with a red, ladybug-dotted book cover appearing on the right. Turning the page “opens” the Little Red Book, which continues, “and read about Ladybug, who opens a... Little Green Book, and reads about Frog, who opens a... Little Orange book,” and so on. As the books grow smaller, the readers grow larger, from the studious ladybug to a joyful bear. The last is a giant who dwarfs them all, and whose hands are too big to open her teeny-tiny Rainbow Book—so the others read it for her. Then the books close in succession, and the story ends with another plug for reading. The design and production are striking, and Lee (Wave) contributes idyllic settings and charming, expressive characters, whose interactions quietly make a lovely point: that readers and those they read about can enjoy a relationship that looks a lot like friendship. Ages 3–8. (Feb.)