POINTS: 3 out of 10.
Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 2 points. Simple but effective.
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point
Where’s Spot is the original “lift the flap” book. Created originally as a fun activity for his son, Christopher (seems like authors love to name their kids Christopher, huh?), Eric Hill had no intention initially to publish it, but once it became apparent how much his kid loved it, he did, starting a whole genre of interactive picture books.
And it stands the test of time, too. It’s incredibly simple – a dog is looking for its puppy because it is dinner time. Under each flap is a strange animal (apparently this home is a menagerie), and (SPOILERS!) Spot is eventually found in a basket. The pictures are bold and colourful and lovely. The animals are wonderfully depicted. It has charm and humour, and, as anyone who has ever read a “lift the flap” with a child knows, the interactivity is a delight.
There are no explicitly female characters, though I suppose there is some implication that the parent dog is a mother. It’s never stated though. And, of course, since all the characters are animals, there’s no explicit diversity either. Having said that, the book has one foot in fantasy, and therefore isn’t obviously depicting a particular worldview, grand pianos and wardrobes notwithstanding. Still, there isn’t anything to warrant giving the book those points.
I’m giving it a point for interactivity though, because I’m a big believer that interactivity in kids’ books encourages active reading, and that’s always a good thing. And of course we both had fun reading it, so it gets points for that too. 🙂
Not a high scorer, but still definitely recommended, especially for very little people.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the “lift the flap” approach? What’s your favourite?