Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Review: Who's Hiding?

It's not often that I review toddler books here. My youngest child is now six, so I'm just not in the market for toddler books anymore. But, I was fortunate enough to receive this beauty--Who's Hiding?--from Kane/Miller this week.* Just look at this cover. How could you not pick it up and review it immediately? (I'm a sucker for symmetry.)

On the surface of things, Who's Hiding, by Saturu Onishi, is a simple book. 18 animals are lined up in rows of 6 across each double-page spread. They appear always in the same order: dog, tiger, hippo, zebra, bear, reindeer/kangaroo, lion, rabbit, giraffe, monkey, bull/rhino, pig, sheep, hen, elephant, cat. The animals, as you see, are colorful iconic representations and very appealing to a young child.

Once we meet each of the animals (I can just imagine reading their names over and over again to a small child), the fun begins. The first question is "who's hiding?" Then the child must find the "missing" animal--in this case the reindeer with only antlers and facial features visible. Onishi also asks "who's crying?," "who's angry?," "who has horns?," "who's backwards?," and "who's sleeping?" The final page features only eyes on blacked-out pages and asks "Who's who?" You know you have a smart toddler if they begin rattling out the names in order.

Who's Hiding is aimed at the 0-3 audience and is sure to provide hours of read-along fun. Enjoy!
Once a year or so I have to mention how much I love Kane/Miller and their mission. Bascially, what they do is bring foreign books to the U.S. market. Who's Hiding was originally published in Japan.