Format: Picture book
Author: Jesse Klausmeier
Illustrator: Suzy Lee
Publisher: Chronicle Books (published December 2012)
Welcome back! I hope everyone got to have a wonderful holiday and that the holiday hangover has come to an end for all you parents out there. I don’t mean a headache from all that bourbon you snuck into your eggnog, but rather the brutal whininess that seems to come on the heels of any period of relaxed rules, of which the period between about November twenty-fifth and January tenth seems to be, at least around these parts. Candy, toys, gifts, cake, too much excitement and not enough sleep — it’s a perfect storm for meltdowns. We’ve gone into simplicity boot camp around here as part of our recovery from the madness of Christmastime: we’re doing less, taking things a bit more slowly, and simplifying our activities as we try to get back into routine. (If you haven’t read Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, it’s a great read about how doing less and simplifying your life can make a huge impact on you and your kids.)
Anyway, as we return to simplicity, I wanted to share a book with everyone that celebrates something quite simple: the magic of the simple, physical existence of a book. Open This Little Book turns traditional book construction upside down…to celebrate the wonder of books themselves. The book begins with a purple book-inside-the-book, which invites the reader to “Open this…Little Red Book,” another book-inside-the-book. The nested books get smaller and smaller as we read a story about a ladybug, who reads a story about a frog, who reads a story about a rabbit, who reads a story about a bear, who reads a story about a giant, whose friends read her a story about…” Well, you’ll have to pick up the book to find out. Little E loves “reading” this book on her own, utterly tickled by the pages that shrink and grow and by the joke about the giant whose hands are too big to read her Little Rainbow Book. She is also captivated by the endpapers, which are a little bit unusual. The whole book, which could easily be a gimmicky throwaway, has been thoughtfully put together and charmingly illustrated to capture the attention of big and little readers and to celebrate all the wonder of reading in one little book — well, several, one inside the other.