cover image Give Me Back My Book!

Give Me Back My Book!

Travis Foster and Ethan Long. Chronicle, $16.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6040-5

Bloo, a blue rabbit (drawn by Long), catches Redd, a shaggy red monster (drawn by Foster), reading Bloo’s book. A barrage of accusations and denials ensues, but readers will surmise that Redd is indeed trying to pull a fast one on Bloo. Their tussling gives a third character, Bookworm, the opportunity to swipe the book for herself. Now united, Bloo and Red cook up a plot to trap Bookworm by creating a decoy book (“The illustrations will make her eyes explode!” says Bloo), which turns out to be as much fun as reading. The crisp animation-style cartooning, punctuated with photographic objects, has a freewheeling verve that lifts the story beyond an exercise in gainsaying. But what makes it truly touching is the love that Boo, Redd, and Earthworm have for the book—not just as a transporter of imaginations but as a physical object. As the larcenous Redd notes: “I cannot part with my green book. It has a hard cover, a nice spine, the pages turn from right to left... and, if you are adventurous, from left to right.” Ages 3–5. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Sept.)