LlamaPhones Janik Coat

*This review was originally published in April of 2018
When I read and reviewed Hippopposites by Janik Coat in 2012 I was convinced she was a genius. Then, in 2015,  Rhymoceros was published. Two magnificent books, surprisingly  improved upon by the format of board book, what more could a person ask for? With Llamaphones, Coat delivers a hat trick in the world of kid's books, board books and word play.
The images below (apologies for the subpar photography - I couldn't find any images online to share) should do my job for me, but I'll try to put words to this brilliance, especially because I adore homophones. Coat is a master of simple, clean, effective design, which is essential when writing a book with only two words per page. In Llamaphones, the green llama is the perfect straight man for the humor that Coat brings to her book. Putting the llama in a variety of situations, Coat adds texture (for rose/rows, the rows on the llama are raised) that makes her books even more engaging. On the page wait/weight, the hands on the clock move. Sent/cent also finds a textured, silver coin representing a cent while fairy/ferry has a magnificent winged llama with textured rainbow sparkles fluttering around it. Prints/prince has cloven indentations on the prints page an peak/peek has our llama's back covered with a (llama print, of course) blanket that, when lifted, reveals a baby llama tucked beneath. Finally, flower/flour finds the llama hidden behind sunflowers on the verso and buried up to his snout in a mound of flour that, when touched, reveals a grainy texture. Coat also chooses her homophones well, my favorite being tee/tea in which we find the llama wearing a t-shirt with the red hippo from Hippopposites on it! I didn't give away all the homophone pairs Coat used (but almost) but her book is such a joyful, playful experience, it's hard not to. Of course, board books are made for babies and toddlers, but Janik Coat's books are guaranteed to enchant readers of all ages.

Source: Review Copy

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