hide and seek

Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na

The author of several lovely picture books returns with another beautiful book.  This time readers are part of a game of hide and seek with jungle animals.  Elephant offers to seek while the others hide.  There is a slow count from one to ten as the animals search for places to hide.  Giraffe opts for a tree to hide behind.  Gorilla stands atop Tortoise’s shell like a statue.  Elephant searches for everyone and one-by-one he finds them all, except for Chameleon.  All of the animals finally have to give up and Chameleon reveals himself.  Young readers can search for chameleon throughout the bright illustrations, participating in the game themselves.

The text here is fairly basic, allowing the game to create the pacing and story.  The counting from one to ten creates an effective counting book that is nicely married to a hide and seek game that will challenge young children. 

It is really the art that is special here, glowing with light from within and filled with bright colors.  None of the animals are colored as expected.  The elephant has vibrant ears in red with hearts.  The giraffe is a fiery yellow with red.  Tortoise is a rainbow of pattern and color.  The trees themselves are topped with colorful clouds of leaves.  It all creates a very dynamic and fanciful world.

Colorful counting and a game to play make this a great pick for lap sharing with your favorite toddler or preschooler.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers.