I have huge admiration for children’s book creators that change up the whole book format. I mean, obviously, I love a well written story and a beautifully illustrated book, but when the way in which we read a book, turn its pages, or interact with a story is upended, it becomes something different entirely- craft, really. Books like Press Here and OH! have challenged the process, they’re different, they surprise the reader with each turn of the page. I love that. More importantly, children love that.
I found Open This Little Book, by Jesse Klausmeier and illustrated by Suzy Lee, in an airport of all places.
The next page is the little book, and upon turning it, the ladybug is about to open the next, even smaller book about a frog, which leads us to yet another tiny book, this time about a rabbit.
And so on and so on, the “books” each new character is reading get tinier and tinier, and the characters get bigger and bigger until we meet a giant whose hands are too big for the smallest pages in the center of the book so all the animals come together to help her. Then each animal in turn closes their book until we arrive at the end, where you, the reader, close the final “book” in order to open another (the moral of the story presumably being ‘keep on reading’).
Clever, isn’t it? It’s imaginative and engaging- and my children aren’t anywhere close to being tired of it yet.
What are your favorite creatively constructed books?