Book: Open This Little Book
Author: Jesse Klausmeier
Illustrator: Suzy Lee
Age Range: 3 and up
Open This Little Book is a picture book for book lovers of all ages. Written by Jesse Klausmeier and illustrated by Suzy Lee (The Zoo and Wave), Open This Little Book is constructed as much as it is written and illustrated. But it exudes kid-friendliness from every page. Inside the regular front and back cover the reader finds a smaller book made of what looks like purple construction paper. Inside of that is a smaller book, titled "Little Red Book", and inside of that, a smaller book still. And so on. The books are linked. Each one introduces the next. Like this:
Little Red Book
and read about Ladybug,
who opens a ...
Little Green Book
and reads about Frog,
who opens a ...
Little Orange Book"
and so on, all the way in, then out again (with each book being closed). There are no full-size pages except for the end pages. All of the books inside have different color borders, and a homemade, construction-paper type appearance. Lee's illustrations within each book echo that book's color theme, using a mix of watercolor and pen and ink. The interior books have an old-fashioned feel, as though they are books that one found hidden away in a corner at one's grandmother's house, perhaps hand-made fifty years ago. I especially love the picture on the very last page, showing a bunch of animals sitting around and in a bookshelf/tree, reading, reading, reading. I'd like to see that picture on a calendar or a poster.
Adding further to the kid-friendliness of Open This Little Book, the very smallest book is owned by Giant, whose fingers are too large to actually open the book (because "her hands are way too big"), so her friends open and read Little Rainbow Book.
I think that Open This Little Book will inspire kids to want to write their own books. I am going to be a bit cautious in letting my almost three-year-old read this book, because I think that the small inner pages could tear. But I expect Baby Bookworm to greet this book with delight. There's not much substance to the story itself. But there is tremendous appeal to the book anyway. Open This Little Book provides a positive, interactive experience for young readers, in a memorable format. It's a celebration of books. Definitely recommended for home use - I'm not sure how well it will stand up to repeat library readings (and it's probably better suited to one-on-one than group readings), but it's definitely worth a look.
Publisher: Chronicle Books (@ChronicleKids)
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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