cover image What Is Inside This Box? (Money and Cake)

What Is Inside This Box? (Money and Cake)

Drew Daywalt, illus. by Olivier Tallec. Orchard, $9.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-338-14386-7

Cake—an endearing, layered slice sporting frosting, a cheery smile, and a cherry on top—and Monkey, wearing a red baseball cap, have a big box inside which, Monkey is confident, there is a cat. Cake looks forward to viewing the animal inside, but Monkey explains that the magical feline “disappears when I open the box.” Uncluttered illustrations by Tallec (Who What Where?) keep the focus on the characters as a confused Cake sits atop the box, eyes wide, as Monkey, now in a white lab coat, explains, “When I open the box, there is no cat. But when I close the box again, the cat is back in the box.” Readers will enjoy guessing along with Cake whether there really is a cat inside the box. (Or maybe a dinosaur, as Cake suggests.) In this funny, informative start to an early reader series, Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit) manages to explain the theory of Schrödinger’s Cat in brief. Whether or not kids connect the larger concepts, they’ll enjoy the invitations to ponder and imagine: “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there!” Publishing simultaneously: This Is My Fort! Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]