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Rooster's Off to See the World (World of Eric Carle)
by Eric Carle
ISBN 0887080421 / 9780887080425 / 0-88708-042-1
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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With his lush, gorgeous collages, Eric Carle hardly needs to write a word to make his picture books appealing. Rooster's Off to See the World, in fact, may have been more successful as a wordless book. Rooster wakes up one morning and decides he wants to travel. Off he goes, picking up companions along the way (two cats, three frogs, four turtles, etc.). When night falls, the critters become cold and lonely and hungry, and, group by group, return home. It seems the message here is, "there's no place like home"; reassuring for toddlers, to be sure, but somehow a bit sad and disappointing, too. This small board-book edition is crowded with Carle's trademark illustrations, stunning in color and form--but also with wordy text and counting graphics in the upper right corner of each spread. The adding and subtracting element is an attractive and clever feature, but ultimately, it's a little too much. This said, children and adults will probably be so mesmerized by Carle's colorful collages, the rest won't matter. (Baby to preschool) --Emilie Coulter [via]