Picture Books – Can You Make a Scary Face

Jan Thomas is fast becoming one of my favorite author/illustrators. First she had the slightly weird, but very funny series of books about Fat Cat, Cow, and Mouse, then she did the brilliant Rhyming Dust Bunnies. Now she comes out with this newest book that seems tailor made to read aloud.

The main character, a ladybug, addresses her (his?) audience directly. She insists that the reader stand up. Then she changes her mind. Then she changes her mind again. I can’t wait to read this to a story time audience and watch as they all sit down, stand up, sit down, stand up and do the chicken dance. This is the stuff of story time legend. There might not be much of a coherent story here, but it’s so much fun that it doesn’t matter.

The illustrations are typical Jan Thomas: simple, bright, digital images with thick lines and a fondness for expressions of cartoonish horror. I guarantee any toddler or preschooler who gets their hands on this book will be compelled to look at all of the pictures. That the text invites the reader in to play pretend is only an added bonus.

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