Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo

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Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo

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Buy Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: In this animal school there are hidden words in everything. Join the animal crew and try and uncover who is being naughty when in this experimental-feeling children's book that struggles slightly to find an audience.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: October 2016
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781783444823

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The title of a book can be an important indication of what you are about to get yourself into. Where's the BaBOOn? is a subtly different than Where's the Baboon? Can you spot the surprising difference? One book is about finding the missing monkey, the other is waiting for the missing monkey to find you. Therefore, grab this book at your peril, knowing that at some point a Baboon will say BOO!

The animals are all going to school, but who is doing what? Each double spread asks the reader a question and it is up to you to decide what the answer is. It can't be that hard to discover who is making snowflakes or is hiding behind the castle? To aid the reader, some of the important words have hidden animals within them – SNowflAKE, CAsTle. Can you discover all the animals and their antics before a certain Baboon goes boo?

BaBOOn is a book that is not quite like any other I have come across. There is little story as such, but there is a setting. You would think that it would be easy to discover who is making snowflakes or acting up, but Michaël Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo have combined to make things a little trickier. Illustrator Di Giacomo, does not make the culprit obvious, but instead has all the animals doing similar things; you have to work a little harder to get the answer. It is here that writer Escoffier comes into play as his simple questions hold the answers within them.

There is fun to be had with BaBOOn; the game itself of answering the questions, but also in Di Giacomo's illustrations. The leftfield images match the crazy questions and give the book a slightly anarchic feel. Children will enjoy all the silly antics going on and that is not even mentioning waiting for the moment that the Baboon finally turns up. However, there is no denying that the muted colours do make this a darker feeling book than perhaps it is meant to be.

It is perhaps the adult who may struggle more with the book. The hidden animal names are quite obvious within the question as they are shown in a larger red font. I know from experience of seeing one 60+ person reading the book that they could not work out if they were meant to read the black letters, the red letters, or both together. To a child it does not matter as much as they will link the secret words with the animals on the page. However, this does beg the question where the book sits; is it to share with a 3 year old, or for a 6 year old read themselves? The book is very simple so appears at first glance to be a toddler book, but the slightly chaotic style and hidden meanings means that it is actually better for a curious 5-6 year old. Perhaps in the end, neither group will be fully satisfied.

Escoffier has been here before in terms of books that play with words Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo. A book that plays around with the format better is Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly L Bingham and Paul O Zelinsky.

Buy Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo at Amazon.com.

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