I have combined these two books into one review as they form part of a series of, I think five books, although I have yet to read the others. They follow the tried and tested formula of lift the flap books, but instead of using easily destroyed cardboard flaps, that can apparently test adults to the point of swearing, they use felt instead. I have to praise whoever made that decision because its an excellent choice. No matter how hard Toby tried to pull it, it remained intact, which is more than can be said for some of the other books we’ve been reading.
Both books feature a series of animals hidden behind everyday objects with brightly coloured pages and minimal dialogue. It can be slightly nightmare inducing for the adults as the size of the animal versus the item they are hiding behind isn’t correct. I believe my sister is now on the look out for the buggy sized duck from the aforementioned, Where’s Mr. Duck.
I was surprised by the fact that all the books use a male character for the title role and any female characters are all Mrs. I know that the child reading it probably won’t care but to me its yet another reminder of the subtle ways we tell children the “correct” order of things.
These two books are amongst the favourites for Toby and have been since he was able to hold them. They have progressed from favourite chew toy to something he will sit and flick through, but I believe this is thanks to the surprise ending. After you have located the title character there is one more page, where you are invited to once again move the felt flap. This time you see a mirror and your face is reflected. I don’t know enough about early child development to know if this is important to them or not, but it does appear to be the favourite part of the book for him. Perhaps he’s just a giant narcissist and enjoys looking at himself, or maybe he’s genuinely learning something. At this point I just hope its something positive.