Boo Who?

Boo Who? illus. by Ben Clanton. 32p. Candlewick. Aug. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763688240.
PreS-Gr 1—The gang from Rex Wrecks It are back for a new tale about playing together. "Being new can be scary, even when everyone is friendly." And so it is when Boo, looking much like a Pac-Man ghost, arrives at the playground. The other creatures (robot, dinosaur, unicorn bunny, and adorable monster) invite him to play, but finding a game for them all is tricky. Bounce-ball, pick-up twigs, and tag are all a fail, as Boo is intangible. Boo is ready to just disappear (boo-hoo) when a game of hide-and-seek begins, an activity for which Boo was practically made. "This is Boo. He's new, but he fits right in." Clanton's visuals and simple text are the perfect combination for this read-aloud. The first two pages humorously set up the premise with an arrow and text declaring "This is Boo." Ah, but Boo is in fact on the facing page, as the additional text and illustration show. With a tan background and single color foreground, Clanton makes it easy for readers/listeners to focus on the action. Using ink, pencil, watercolor, and digital magic, Clanton's illustrations deftly depict the action and facial expressions of his cartoon characters. Who knew the awkwardness of a failed game could be shown so simply and yet so well?
VERDICT Clanton addresses one of life's difficult experiences for all ages in this humorous book. There's a built-in fan base from previous titles, but this is also a great title to entice newcomers to the series.

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