Playful colors and darling animals adorn this changing-faces board book with interactive sliding tabs that automatically change the featured animal’s face with just the turn of a page. A monkey admires his many animal friends—an elephant, lion, wildebeest, and zebra—by complimenting something Monkey loves about their appearance. Each compliment is followed by a page turn, revealing a happy animal expression resulting from the compliment, along with Monkey mimicking the admired attribute—like Monkey using hands to create pretend horns like Wildebeest’s—and wishing it were his own. The story ends with the animals sharing how much they love Monkey and the sweet message of acceptance and love in the last sentence, “We love you just the way you are!” The simplicity of the interactive aspect of turning a page to reveal a new facial expression makes this a read a toddler an enjoy on his or her own. While the book focuses on appearances and monkey’s wish to look like other animals, the humble appreciation of the animals’ response to Monkey’s admiration presents a powerful lesson on the impact of kind words and seeing value in one’s own unique qualities.
These Changing Faces books are very novel and fun. The text of this one is pretty simple and basic, though the message is still sweet.
Carles Ballesteros is a Spanish-born illustrator living and working in Santiago, Chile. He is a member of the Professional Association of Illustrators of Catalonia (APIC). Ballesteros uses a mixture of traditional drawing skills and digital techniques to create his work. He is also the illustrator of Building Machines and other titles in the Changing Faces series, including I Love You, Elephant!, Is That Your Dad?, Don’t Wake the Tiger!, and Meet Happy Bear.
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