Toddler Story Book: What About Me? Review

Toddler Story Book: What About Me
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Silly Goose & Dizzy Duck are very good friends (one is put in mind of Ernie & Bert of Sesame St. fame or Toot & Puddle by Hobbie). They are, however, not the brightest bulbs in the waterfowl chandelier, and so when they take a walk and find Clever Fox following them, they automatically assume he wants to play hide & seek.
This leads to some absolutely hysterical situations as Duck and Goose try to hide while Fox (with a wide grin and pointy teeth) counts to five. Goose tries a hollow log, but is too fat. Meanwhile, Duck tries to climb a tree, but realizes he's afraid of heights. A holly bush proves to be too prickly and the river too cold. In final desperation, Goose & Duck hide in a pile of leaves and behind a pile of rocks.
Children of all ages will undoubtedly find these preposterous hiding places very funny, especially as Clever fox--tongue licking his lips--zeros in on duck's hiding spot, prominently exposed by Duck's elevated, feathered rump as he attempts to hide amongst a pile of rocks much smaller than he.
When Fox has Duck in a gentle throttle (Duck is smiling, but his tongue is sticking out of his orange bill), he turns to find that a new player has joined the game, Grizzly BEAR! "BOOOO! Boomed Grizzly Bear." And that, as they say, is that! Fox runs off, arms akimbo, leaving Goose and Duck to be a bit miffed at Bear who "'frightened our friend', grumbled Silly Goose. 'And spoiled our game,' said Dizzy Duck. 'You'll have to play instead.'"
Ms. Grindley & Mr. Reynolds have produced a masterpiece of the very sort of slapstick that young children thrive on. The clear, uncluttered illustrations of wide-eyed waterfowl searching for hiding places against the clock made me laugh right out loud. The text is bold, big and easy to read. In addition, the text is arranged graphically in such a way that the very words add to the story. "Booo! " for example, consisting of systematically smaller italicized type and "leaped into the air" being bent up and down in a semicircle to illustrate movement will not only guide parents/caregivers on how to read the story, but will encourage children to pay more attention to the text itself than they might otherwise do if the text sat on the page in a more static manner.

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