Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHAT'S IN THE BOX? by Isabel Otter


by Isabel Otter ; illustrated by Joaquin Camp

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-68010-683-1
Publisher: Tiger Tales

Large flaps and tactile elements enliven this guessing-game board book.

The organizing premise of this novelty book is the ubiquitous pile of delivery boxes found almost daily on many a porch. Those in this book have tactile elements poking out to hint at what’s inside. Rhyming text on the left poses a question about each box’s contents. Sturdy flaps on the opposite page reveal the rhyming answer and a fantasy character that’s probably recognizable to even young children. Labels on the depicted box and in the illustrations also contain clues. Three flaps are almost as large as the page; two are split, requiring two hands to open. The rhymes are clever, but the wordplay and sophisticated language seem designed to engage adult readers rather than delight toddlers. For example, a label on one box reads, “HANDLE WITH SCARE.” Older preschoolers will easily guess the answers and be ready to move on quickly. Disappointingly, the fuzzy pink blob poking through the cutout on the front cover has no obvious relation to the contents of any of the five boxes in the slight story. Librarians and booksellers will appreciate what’s under the final flap: “A BOOK! Their stories bring us smiles and fun— / the magic of reading for everyone!”

Like much of what’s in real delivery boxes, this is ephemeral—fun for a minute but not essential.

(Novelty board book. 2-4)