This Is Still Not a Book

Phaidon. Mar. 2021. 38p. Board $16.95. ISBN 9781838662745.
PreS-K–With eye-catching colors, bold black lines, and cartoon-style characters in skin tones ranging from deep brown to peach, Jullien riffs on his This is Not a Book for another wordless transformation of the board book. Some concepts will be available to the typical age group: a toilet with a lid, a suitcase that closes, a mousetrap that snaps shut. Others aim much older: a mouth chewing popcorn, a foldable shirt, surfers catching a wave. And some, like the three-dimensional elephant, are sure hits if the reader manages to figure out how they work. The spread of a flip phone with a green-screen game on it may be a nod to parent-aged onlookers, though toddlers will miss the point. It’s a toy, it’s a puzzle, it’s a joke, but without a visual narrative thread connecting one piece to the next, it is definitely still not a book.
VERDICT Best suited to a toy-moveable collection, this will engage children still learning what books are, not necessarily hooked to a story.

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