Naked! by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
A little boy streaks naked through his house, followed closely by his mother holding a towel. He leaves a trail of bubbles and puddles behind, shouting “I’m naked!” as he runs. He even manages to snag a cookie and eat it naked as his mother towels him off. Then he has a great idea! He could just dress this way all the time: at school, on the playground, dancing… But wait! Capes are cool too. So then he wears just a cape and manages to be mostly naked but also caped as he runs around. Finally, he catches a chill and agrees because he is so cold to put on pants, a top, even slippers, though he keeps the cape on. And it is off to bed, dressed and warm.
This book perfectly captures the joy of a young child in being entirely naked and running around. Parents will immediately recognize the stage and children will giggle along as the child in the book dreams of all of the places he can go naked. Perhaps best of all in the book is the mother’s response which is acceptance and then managing to get the little boy dressed without tears or tantrums. She respects his enthusiasm but also gets him dressed in the end.
Ohi’s illustrations are vibrant and joyous. She fills the page with the running little boy, moving across the page celebrating just how naked he is. The illustrations are cute, clear and large format, so they will work with a group. Beware though, reading this too a group of preschoolers could have wild results!
Silly, happy and great fun, this naked romp is one that fans of No, David! will enjoy. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.