Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Who's in the Tree and Other Lift-the-Flap Surprises

Who's in the Tree and Other Lift-the-Flap Surprises

Craig Shuttlewood
Novelty Book
For ages 4 to 6
Sterling Children's Books, 2014   ISBN: 978-1454911937

Most of us love surprises, even little ones. There is a special excitement that we experience when we are presented with a gift box and we have no idea what is inside it.  Similarly, children love books with lift-the-flaps. Each lift-the-flap is little a little present, a little surprise that they can anticipate and then enjoy lifting to see what is beneath.

   In this novelty book the author combines lift-the-flaps, a rhyming text, and amusing illustrations and the result is a title that children will find engaging and amusing.

   We begin our lift-the-flap adventure on a page where we see an owl sitting in a tree. We are asked “Who’s in the tree but shouldn’t be” and we are invited to “lift the flap  / and we will see.” Sure enough, under the flap, which is in the tree, we find a penguin sitting on a branch and it is saying “It’s too HOT here for me.” Clearly the bird does not belong in the tree at all.

   In the next scene we find ourselves in Africa. We can see an elephant on the horizon and in the foreground there is a tree, with a snake and a monkey in it. On the ground is a big leafy plant. We are asked “Who does not belong / in grass so long” and we are told that there is something “with big round head / and arms so strong” in the area. Sure enough, under the leafy plant there is a rather bemused looking octopus.

   In all there are eight pages in this book, each one of which shows us a different scene. In each scene children will find some poor creature that doesn’t belong. On each page comments made by the animal characters will amuse young readers, and children will be delighted to see that the animals that don’t ‘fit’ end up traveling through the book together.