Sometimes an author or illustrator comes up with a children’s book concept that just works. Think The Very Hungry Caterpillar with the holes through the pages, or the self-aware The Monster at the End of This Book, where Grover pleads with the reader to stop turning pages for fear of revealing the monster, or the lesser-known but fabulous Panorama – a book worthy of it’s own blog entry (we’ll write one soon).
Another book that belongs in this category is SAMi’s The Big Bigger Biggest Book. The book’s concept is so simple but so well executed. Each spread contains a simple one-syllable adjective next to a fold-out flap. Open the flap once and the art extends to reveal the adjective modified with “er” (“tall” becomes “taller”). The illustration extends as well to show the progression. Fold the flap out a second time and the adjective is modified to its superlative (“taller” becomes “tallest”). Again, the art extends along with the modified word.
That’s the genius of the book — not only does the art clearly define the concept by extending as it does, but also the young reader, by physically extending the flaps, gets to cause the action that leads to each new adjective. That should make the connection to the idea and the words even stronger in young, developing brains.
This book is cool, cooler, coolest. Well done, SAMi — whoever you are. (I did some extensive internet searching to try to find more info on the author, SAMi, but I’m coming up blank. Anyone out there know more about SAMi or have a link to his/her website? If so, please post it in the comments area below.)