Friday, September 15, 2017

Don't Blink

        Remember the fun of having a staring contest? Maybe it was with your brother. Remember the way you held on, lids elevated, trying not to laugh or break concentration? Now imagine not blinking with book characters staring at you. A girl with brown hair sitting on the ground invites readers to play. Friendly animals join in, one by one. That's what Don't Blink is all about.
         The art has a mildly Disney-esque look, with exaggerated animal expressions and the main character, with that big, brown-eyed,open look recalls characters from the movie Inside Out.  The text is simple and declarative, as well as interrogative, making for wonderful read aloud interpretations and vocalizing.
         In the style of books like Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson, and Please Open this Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, Don't Blink makes the reader an active participant in the evolving game. These interactive books are becoming more popular, and authors and illustrators are creating new ones all the time. As a reader of picture books to many age groups, from two year old grandsons to third graders, I find this style of book engaging especially when you have a person on your lap, or a few observant participants nearby. Preschool children often want to have these books read again and again, because they get to do something with the book, with the characters. They're part of the story, not passive recipients of a tale. Also,there's a surprise about who wins the staring contest, but I won't give it away.
        So, are you ready? Check out Don't Blink and open your eyes! 

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