“Pet this Book” and “Play this Book,” two books by Jessica Young and Daniel Wiseman, are sure to quickly become favorites for younger readers (or nonreaders). The subject matters, pets and instruments, are things children instinctively love.
“Play this Book” starts with an invitation to help with a show. And the first instrument the child can (pretend to) play is a guitar. The pink guitar is large, and while children won’t actually feel anything when they they run their hands across the thick paper, the reader will provide the “strum, strum, strum” sounds. Next there is a huge drum that goes “rat-a-tat!” Black and white piano keys stretch across the bottom of a double page spread. Other instruments go “crash,” “bwah-bwah,” and “doo-bee.” It’s a lot of fun!
“Pet this Book” is similar in that there are large animals to pet, bathe, give water to, talk to, brush, feed, and even set free. It’s a lovely book about what animals need from us and how we can take care of them. Some, like butterflies, need to be set free.
Both books are written in a lively, rhythmic text that is a pleasure to read aloud. Regarding the cat:
“Here’s a cat who likes to nap,
You can hold her on your lap.
Pat her fur to make her purr–
PURR! PURR! PURR!”
The illustrations are very colorful and cartoonish. Kids will love the simplicity of the drawings. Most are on a white background, which makes the few full-color pages stand out. A really great feature of both books is the sturdy paper used — they are not quite board books, but chubby, clumsy little fingers will easily be able to turn the pages without worries about creases or wrinkles.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, for review purposes.