Like a child who finds the plain cardboard box far more interesting than what came packaged inside it, so an elephant and his frog friend imagine various answers to the opening spread's query, "What can I do with a box?" Much of Hillenbrand's (What a Treasure!) simple text serves as essentially one long response: "I can make a bug box... or a pizza box... or a toy box," etc. The playful protagonists experience a eureka moment when they hit upon "book box" ("Great idea!" declares the pachyderm). The balance of the tale demonstrates that the book box is truly a "treasure box," allowing the buddies all sorts of reading adventures and pleasures. Originally crafted as the kickoff for a summer reading program at the author's local library, this title conveys a subtle yet infectious reading-is-terrific vibe that offers universal appeal any time of year. Set against plentiful white space, the mixed-media compositions in a fiesta-bright palette with black outline pop from the pages, and delicately colored lines act as page borders to provide an arresting combination of texture and simplicity. Ages 2-5. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"What can I do with a box?" a young elephant asks a frog. As any parent knows, there can be no better, more versatile toy. Our hero suggests "a bug box," "a pizza box," and other possibilities for play, including "a hide-and-seek box." But the "great idea" is a book box. Then your books are handy everywhere you take them, from breakfast and bathroom to travel and play, alone or with friends. At bedtime, in particular, our elephant loves his box because "It helps me to have...sweet dreams." Heavy black lines outline the two main characters and the relatively few objects they interact with. Hillenbrand uses egg tempera, oil pastels, and ink to create very appealing anthropomorphic creatures engaged in antics aimed at the youngest. As the frog balances an empty spaghetti box on his head from the "hat box," or the elephant grimaces putting smelly socks into his "sock box," smiles are inevitable. The pages, single and double, are carefully designed to emphasize their esthetic content as they tickle young funny bones. A great boost for books as well as boxes. 2006, Harcourt, Ages 2 to 5.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-K-A little elephant wonders what he can do with a plain cardboard box. He comes up with all sorts of ideas, transforming the object into a hat, a container for toys, and a hide-and-seek haven. Finally, he decides to make a book box, and the rest of the story provides insight into the limitless possibilities of such a creation. Single- and double-page paintings show the elephant and his small frog friend enjoying the contents of the book box from breakfast to the bathroom to bedtime. The soft illustrations, done in egg tempera, oil pastels, and ink, lend occasional humor to the simple, quiet text. The last page provides instructions for making a book box. An additional purchase.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Conceived to kick off a library's summer reading campaign, this relentlessly purposeful outing presents a toddler-like elephant and frog duo demonstrating uses for an understandably rumpled-looking cardboard box. After wearing it, hiding in it and trying it out as storage for pizza, pasta and dirty socks, the two settle on using it to carry books-from breakfast table to bathroom to bedtime, with other stops along the way. The text, running to a single phrase or sentence per page in large type, is placed over stylized scenes composed of very simple visual elements. Not the most practical (not to mention sanitary) way of carrying books about, but still a doable crafts project, even for younger children, and a charming salute to books as an option for adventure and recreation. General instructions appended. (Picture book. 5-8)