Peek-a ZOO! and Daddy Wrong Legs are two fantastic new board books by Nina Laden, longtime author and illustrator of picture books. Peek-a ZOO! is a companion to Peek-a WHO?, which was published in 2000 and has been a perennially popular board book ever since, voted one of Scholastic Magazine's 100 Greatest Books for Kids and selling almost a million copies! Die-cuts allow little readers to peek (and poke) through the windows, read the clue and guess who is peeking from the opposite page. Laden's text, for Peek-a WHO? and Peek-a ZOO! is gently rhyming and playful throughout, her illustrations brightly colorful and blocky (block print, actually) and completely engaging. The final page of both books ends with a "peek-a you!" and a look in a mirror, one of the best I have seen to date in a board book. Interior images were hard to find, but the book trailer below is even better.
Daddy Wrong Legs is Laden's other new board book and I am completely in love with it! Probably because it reminds me of an old, out of print book, Por-Gua-Can by Sara Ball. I have long wondered why no one has taken Ball's idea and run with it and am thrilled to see that author/illustrators like Axel Scheffler with his Flip Flap Farm and now Nina Laden have!
Laden takes a great premise, playing on the spider name, Daddy Long Legs. Ten daddies and their legs make up the text of Daddy Wrong Legs. To give you an idea of how seemingly simple but truly brilliant Laden's book is, and to give you an idea of the great mixing and matching fun that you can have with Daddy Wrong Legs, here is the complete text: Daddy Wrong Legs, Daddy Long Legs, Daddy Strong Legs, Daddy Dog Legs, Daddy Frog Legs, Daddy Hairy Legs, Daddy Beary Legs, Daddy Scary Legs, Daddy Bone Legs, Daddy's Own Legs. The first page of the book, below, sets the scene, and every illustration of of the daddies are sweet scenes of playful parenthood ready to be mixed and matched!
Source: Review Copies
Other great books by Nina Laden: