Boo!, illustrated and written by Ben Newman, published by Flying Eye Books, ISBN: 978-1911171058.
Wow, what a triumph of book design this is. With bold shapes and sharp colors and striking typography, Ben Newman’s Boo! is an artfully conceived romp in which, one by one, an animal brags about being the bravest creature there ever was. As each character speaks highly of itself, another shadowy figure approaches from behind and then screams “BOO” when we turn the page. I have done this book in story time and the children love guessing what kind of animal the shadowy figure will turn out to be. And I tell them to shout BOO! on the count of three and they love doing that. Each page turn offers a vibrant, hilarious surprise. The reaction of each character after it is startled is priceless. The beauty of the design starts on the cover with a mouse appearing under the two “O”s in the word BOO cut out in the shape of eyes. Flip open the book and we see that the eyeballs belong to a crocodile about to chomp on the mouse. When addressing the reader, each animal starts off with a greeting with an amplified, larger font, and in a nice touch, Newman changes the font for each character. To say this works in large story times is an understatement: the illustrations show beautifully across the room. Kids laugh, scream, and adore the surprise ending. It will forever be a part of my regular story hour rotation.