April 23, 2012
Where Are Maisy's Friends?
By Lucy Cousins; illus. by author
0-3 Preschool Candlewick 12 pp.
978-0763646691 Board $5.99
Where Are Maisy's Friends? invites toddlers and preschoolers to play a game of hide-and-seek with Lucy Cousins's famous mouse. The book features Cousins's standard illustrative style with bold primary color acrylics outlined in black on clean white backgrounds. Meanwhile, the text follows a pleasantly predictable question-answer pattern. The book begins with an explicitly stated invitation to play, so that young readers know exactly what to expect when they turn the page, and the repetition of the phrase "Who's that hiding [under the bed, in the closet, etc.] provides beginning readers with a narrative foundation on which to build their understanding of the text. Even pre-readers will benefit from hearing the repeated words and sounds followed by the surprise of discovery. All of the characters are hiding in easily recognizable household objects, (under tables and beds, in closets), and the flaps are sturdy enough to withstand rough handling. The exclamation points that accompany the discovery of each of the hiding characters ("it's Charley!"; "It's Eddie!" etc.) gives the book a sort of real life Surprise!!! quality that kids will no doubt love. A good, interactive title for pre-readers and beginning readers, Where Are Maisy's Friends? offers developmentally appropriate fun for these young seekers.