Book: Look! Another Book!
Author: Bob Staake
Age Range: 4 to 8
I reviewed Bob Staake's Look! A Book! as part of last year's Round 1 reading for the Cybils in Fiction Picture Books. I recently received the sequel: Look! Another Book! There's not a lot that's new to say about this second book - it is very similar to the first one. But I personally have an endless capacity to marvel over Bob Staake's illustrations, so I wanted to give it a try.
Like Look! A Book!, Look! Another Book! is a seek and find book chock-full of pictures. Here is part of Staake's intro:
"Discover things, both small and large,
you can DO it--just take charge!
Scary monsters, hanging bats,
super-goofy flying cats!
The words are few and far between,
more PICTURES than you've ever seen!
Now open up this crazy book,
grab a seat--and have a LOOK!"
The remainder of the book alternates between incredibly detailed, themed pages, and pages that just have a few cut-out circles, isolating individual items from the details. The first page, for instance, is a shopping mall. Readers are advised to "Watch out for that bowling ball" and asked "Can you find the waterfall?" Windows look into this scene from ahead and behind. Observant readers will find plenty of delightful tidbits, many more than suggested by the text, like a black and white checkered cow, a purple alligator carrying a purse (or perhaps a shopping bag), a bat flying out of the top of a stovepipe hat, and much, much more.
The characters in the book, a mixture of people, animals, and robots, are in Staake's classic style, the people shown with round heads, huge eyes, and a variety of skin tones never to be seen in nature. There's an underlying joy to many of the displays, a constant sense of fun, that will make Look! Another Book! appeal to readers of all ages. Well, to readers age four and up, anyway. The illustrations are a bit too small, and too surreal, to appeal to very young children.
At the end of the book, in a page that opens up from the bottom to a vertical double page spread, Staake sends readers back to the pictures. He includes a dozen quests, ranging from "1 panda" to "12 green books". I personally like the fact that, somewhere within Look! Another Book!, readers can find "11 blueberry bagels", though I don't personally have the patience to look. But if I was a curious and determined six-year-old, I'm sure it would be a completely different story.
I recommend Look! Another Book! to anyone who enjoys Bob Staake's illustrations (I can imagine it as a great coffee table book for twenty-somethings), but especially to parents and librarians of kids who like seek and find books. You can't go wrong with this book.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (@lbkids)
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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