cover image When I’m Not Looking

When I’m Not Looking

Farren Phillips. Yeehoo, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-953458-07-0

In this irreverent interactive story, self-proclaimed philosopher Legs, whose “big” questions stump even her two moms, attempts to uncover a top-of-mind mystery: what her long-necked pet duck does when unobserved. “She’s probably just sitting around in a pond all day eating BREAD,” Legs reasons, pointing maniacally; perhaps, though, “that’s just what she WANTS you to think!” Bespectacled and clad in a white lab coat and hot pink onesie, light-skinned Legs offers laughably offbeat hypotheses for the fowl’s likely doings: “multiplying into fifty ducks,” “licking all the eggs,” “wearing my best pants.” (Fill-in-the-blank spaces invite readers to offer their own hypotheses, and occasional seek-and-find prompts encourage further reader involvement.) Visual and bathroom humor is tucked everywhere in Phillips’s jam-packed digital illustrations, which alternate college-ruled activity pages with highly detailed scenes of a home whose cluttered backgrounds evidence Legs’s STEM proclivities. The homemade effect lends the story a down-to-earth vibe that emphasizes how much fun it is to be over-the-top silly in the name of science. Ages up to 8. (May)