Hide-and-Peek? Is There a Dog in This Book? by Viviane Schwarz
YOU OPENED OUR BOOK!
Right away, in her latest finger-friendly flap book, Is There a Dog in This Book? (Candlewick Press, 2014), Viviane Schwarz's three comic cats let us know that this is no ordinary missing puppy tale. Her cats, Moonpie, Andre', and Tiny, let us know that we are visitors in a metabook, where the characters interact with whomever is off page. It's no problem for this practiced three, however, and right away the reader is invited to join in on their search for the dog they just know, with the mysterious intuition of cats, is hiding in their house.
"WAIT! IS THERE SOMEBODY ELSE IN THIS BOOK?
SOMEBODY DRANK ALL MY MILK!"
The last thing these felines want in their domicile is a yappish, snappish dog, so they mount a vigorous search. Could he be hiding behind the purple sofa? Can somebody help them look?
"CAN YOU MOVE THIS SOFA?" they implore the reader.
Bingo! There, behind the sofa flap, is a long-eared purple canine who looks like he's there to stay! The cats flee!
NOW WE'RE HIDING IN THE PIANO."
The reader is enjoined NOT to lift the piano lid, but who could resist?
You can see where this one is going, as an extensive dog, er, cat hunt follows, with the three kitties eager to seek the perfect hiding place all over the house--the closet, the suitcase (Very Boring! says their sign), and even the kitchen cabinet, which opens to reveal a small but possibly smokey dragon! But finally, Tiny, the littlest and least dog-averse cat has an intriguing speculation.
"WHAT IF THE DOG LIKES CATS?"
Curiosity overtakes the cautious cats. Would it be nice to touch his furry coat? Would he be fun to play with?
There many a slip between lift-the-flaps and friendship, but it looks like when the cats finally find their doggy, there are going to be some changes made around their house in this interactive game of hide-and-seek. Viviane Schwarz's inventive flaps, so well integrated with the interior of the house, make for some surprises and lots of giggles, and her deft page-turn design keeps human curiosity as keen as the cats'. She throws in a bit of dogs drool visual humor by portraying the pup's thought balloons in the simplest of stick figures, while the cats speak only in artful language. There definitely is a dog in this book, and it looks like he's there to stay.
Schwarz's three likeable cats also star in her previous companion books, There Are No Cats in this Book and
There Are Cats in This Book, all filled with interactive feline fun. "Along with a hand-lettered text, animal figures rendered in vigorous daubs of black and colored inks give the episode an endearing, informal energy reminiscent of Chris Raschka's Daisy outings," says Kirkus.