In “Don’t Blink!” Tom Booth takes a childhood game of staring and cleverly has the main character in the book, a cute girl with huge brown eyes (appropriate for staring), engage in a staring contest with not only many wild animals, but the reader of the book.
Yes, the child to whom this book is being read (or who is reading it alone) is part of the story. The animals join to girl one by one, and finally there is a large group all staring at…the reader.
Then, someone blinks. No spoilers in this review, so you’ll have to guess who lost. But even though the animals and the girl are drawn in a very engaging, stylized, cartoon fashion, Booth manages to show through the faces of the animals and their eyes (and the text) that they are having a hard time not blinking. The spare background and brightly colored animals keep the focus on the game contestants — and their eyes.
This is a picture book for even young readers. This seven-month old didn’t want to let go of the book or blink! Kids will want to hear this story over and over again. They will want to see if they can beat the girl and her animal friends by not blinking.
The different colored text shows the different voices talking, and kids will love to chime in with the repeated phrase, “Don’t blink!”
This is a perfect gift for parents or the classroom. Children from six months through six years will enjoy the humor, the illustrations, and the game.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Feiwel and Friends, the publisher, for review purposes.