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*Rainbow Fish Hide & Seek Cloth Book* by Marcus Pfister

Also by Marcus Pfister:

The Little Moon Raven

Rainbow Fish and the Whale (Tuff Books)

Questions, Questions

Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea

Milo and the Magical Stones

Copycat Charlie (Touch and Feel)

Rainbow Fish Opposites/El Pez Arco Iris Opuestos [bilingual]

Rainbow Fish Hide & Seek Cloth Book
by Marcus Pfister
Baby-preschool 10 pages North-South May 2006 April book    

Bookshelves are jammed with cute, vibrant, and instructive children’s books, and it is this landscape that makes the Rainbow Fish Hide-and-Seek Cloth Book with Finger Puppet an incredible disappointment. While I was thrilled to discover a new cloth book, the best use of this book will likely be as a pillow for your child.

The general premise is to allow children to lift up flaps to discover creatures that live under the sea. The underwater theme is a great subject with a lot of potential, but the problems lie in the execution of these ideas. First, the book asks questions such as who is hiding in the grass and encourages the reader to lift a flap to find the answer. The problem is that when we see what is revealed behind the flap, such as a seahorse, there is no textual confirmation on the page that this is what has been found. Similarly, the question as to who lives in the shell is posed, and it is answered only with a nondescript picture of what looks like a crab. To a child (and I would imagine to many adults) this may not be so obvious. On another page we are asked whether a rainbow fish is hiding in the cave; after looking at the pages a few times, I still am not entirely clear about the correct answer.

Aside from the problem with the absence of text, even the pictures leave much to be desired. While perhaps the sea has its dark and dreary areas, this is probably not be the vantage point from which to create a children’s book. The illustrations are all dark with very limited contrast to the pictures that appear under the flaps. In addition, while the point of this book is to have children lift up the flaps, there are some elevated pictures that look as if they are meant to be lifted but instead are sewn shut.

There are many wonderful cloth books, lift-the-flap books and stories about creatures of the sea that will be likely fight for the attention of your child. This book should rightfully lose that competition.

Children's board book reviews for babies and toddlers

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  Lori West/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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