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Open This Little Book

Posted on Mar 6, 2013

open-this-little-book_fi
Jesse Klausmeier (text) & Suzy Lee (illustrations)
(Chronicle Books)

Open this book and you will find … another book. And another one. And another one. Each smaller than the other, each introducing a new character which increasingly actually become larger. From ladybug to bear, all have something in common: they all love a good book.

Open This Little Book is a marvel of ingenuity, a truly wonderful conceptual book about the joy of books. Its format is rather unique, a bit like Russian dolls in print form, and certainly not one that I have ever come across (and I read a lot of children’s books!). The problem is, such a little treasure of a book is so hard to describe, one just has to see it. Thankfully, there is a great little video to help you do just that:

There are so many great things about this book, and children can enjoy it on many different levels, according to how old they are. For the littlest,  it can be just about learning about colours and sizes. For older children, it can be about all about narrative structure and making your own books. But whatever young audiences get from it, for readers young and old, Open This Little Book is simply a wonderful ode to the physical act of reading and to books themselves.  Book lovers will be familiar with that wonderful feeling of turning the pages, stroking the cover and pages; this book is all about that.

The artwork in Open the Little Book is particularly vibrant, which makes perfect sense considering much of the storyline is based on colours. Interestingly, we are used to more subtly coloured drawings from Suzy Lee and the artwork she has created here is a distinct departure from her usual style. But it is a joy to pore over these vivid drawings, there is such intricate detail, each reading becomes a new experience.
This last illustration is particularly wonderful:

Feelings of content, companionship but also excitement and escapism collide in this last spread. It think it might just be what book lovers heaven looks like.

If you are a picture book enthusiast, get hold of a copy; trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Jesse Klausmeier created the first dummy book of Open this Little Book when she was just five years old. Come back tomorrow to hear more about it in Jesse’s wonderful Word Book Day guest post

All illustrations © Suzy Lee

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