Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book One hundred and sixteen

Technically speaking today's book is a novelty book because it has reusable stickers that you can stick on the pages. However, I think that the stickers are just a bonus feature. The picture book on its own is more than enough for any reader, because every double page spread is packed with wonderful (and often deliciously odd) scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the book, and I have added it to my books-to-pull-out-and-browse collection. Not only is the book entertaining, but readers will also learn a thing or to about the places mentioned in the narrative.

Marc Boutavant
Novelty Book
For ages 4 to 8
Chronicle Books, 2008, 978-0-8118-6926-3
   Mouk has decided that he is going to go on a trip around the world. He practices talking in other languages, he does a little research, sends an email, and calls his friends Popo and Chavapa to tell them about his plans. After packing his backpack, he meets his friends at Chez Titi so that he can explain that he is “off to see the world.”
   Mouk’s first stop is Lapland, which is a province in Finland. He writes to his friends back at home telling them what Lapland is like. He makes friends with a rabbit called Sami, and he offers to help Sami’s grandfather wrap Christmas presents for children from around the world.
   Next Sami goes to visit his friend Elena who lives on a Greek Island that is called Hydra. Sami and Elena go snorkeling and then they sit on the beach relaxing and eating watermelon. Sami learns how to say “hello” in Greek, and he eats some rather strange food.
   Mouk goes on to visit Libya, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, India, China, Australia, Japan, Peru, and the United States. In every country he makes new friends, he sees wonderful things, he learns about the cultures and customs that he encounters, he picks up some of the language, and he gets to sample some of the local cuisine.
   Children are going to love traveling around the world with Mouk the bear. Every double page spread presents readers with a colorful scene that is packed with kooky characters, delightful picture vignettes and mini stories, and information. Then there are Mouk’s letters to his friends back in Paris. These are amusing, and they tell the reader about Mouk’s adventures in the different countries.
   Young readers can also interact with the book by placing the forty-six reusable stickers on the glossy pages, and by looking for the search-and-find items in the pictures. 

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