Friday, August 30, 2013

Cause and Effect

Matthew Van Fleet
Matthew Van Fleet knows toddlers. His books zero in on one characteristic that fascinates them--in the case of Munch!, it's mouths and what animals do with them. Toddlers gnaw on everything, and Van Fleet's strong, durable pages, tabs and moving parts are built for those teething mouths.

But he also thinks through every pull of a tab. Each allows youngest children to see how things work. The pull-tab opens a mouth, and pushing the tab back into place closes it again (except in the case of the beaver, which wiggles the beaver's head and makes a "buzz" to indicate its teeth's whittling capabilities).

Toddlers get to see cause and effect. It's a big lesson for a small child, to see that they can make things happen. Author-artist-paper engineer Van Fleet thought through every part of this board book, and it's a perfect match with audience members that often lead with their teeth. Bravo!

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