cover image Do Not Go in There!

Do Not Go in There!

Ariel Horn, illus. by Izzy Burton. Imprint, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-18949-3

A shiny red door sits in an otherwise blank landscape. To open it, or not? Bogart, a big fluffy purple and pink critter, says absolutely not: “There is probably a scary wolf with beady eyes who eats bunnies for supper in there!” But Morton, a visual cross between a baby giraffe, a rabbit, and a stegosaurus, can barely contain its curiosity. “I bet there are fireworks and party balloons behind the door! And robots who are in a robot band!” The friends trade ever more elaborate scenarios—one catastrophic, the other Elysian—but eventually Morton bats eager, calflike eyes and, as the book closes, the glass half full wins out. Digital pictures by Burton (The Wonder Tree) have a limited dimensionality, but their candy-colored silliness is well choreographed, showing that while the two friends may have opposing temperaments (“Not wolves: PUPPIES! Snuggly, soft, cuddly puppies”), they can definitely share a vivid imagination. Horn makes a fine picture book debut, with text that practically begs to be read aloud: “There are WOLVES! Do you hear me? THERE ARE WOLVES!!!” Ages 3–6. [em](July) [/em]