cover image Can You Make a Scary Face?

Can You Make a Scary Face?

Jan Thomas, . . S&S/Beach Lane, $12.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-8581-5

As long as story time does not have to be synonymous with quiet time, Thomas's (Rhyming Dust Bunnies ) latest goof makes a great pick (the first page of this book enjoins readers, “Hey, you! Yes, I'm talking to you! STAND UP!”). In fact, the book's cheerleading narration, bold cartoons and fluorescent backdrops actually deliver an even more kinetic reading experience than the title implies. Before readers are requested to make a scary face, they're asked by the improbable instigator, a chubby and enthusiastic ladybug, to rid themselves of an imaginary tiny bug by wiggling, blowing and doing the chicken dance (“Whoops! The tiny tickly bug flew into your mouth? Blow it out! Come on, blow harder!”). It's only when a giant hungry frog comes along that... well, by that juncture, plot has fully taken a backseat to getting jiggy. Ages 3–5. (Aug.)