Who’s Hiding? by Satoru Onishi
I came across this book the other day in the mending bin and a young patron and I ended up reading it together as I looked for torn pages. It features rows and rows of brightly colored animals. The background of each set of pages is different, so, when the background is red, for example, all of the red animals blend in and seem to be hiding. Every other page, the book asks a different question about one animal who is acting differently from the rest. The book is great for everyone because even very young readers can point to the animal who is crying, or the one who looks angry.
This concept book gets its message across using variations on a black dot. It deals with some of the concepts that you would expect, like here and there, many and few, but there are humorous examples as well that keep you engaged as you read (a photo of a dalmatian with the words “Got dots” made me laugh). The author does a good job of giving a variety of moods to such a simple black circle.
This book is completely dependent upon reader participation, which makes it a great choice for a read-a-loud. Even antsy listeners will be interested in this book because they are asked to do something on each page. Even though the end of the story is determined, the reader gets the impression that he/she is controlling the outcome. The author asks us to press the yellow dot and then turn the page to see what happens (the dot has changed color!). When the reader tips the book to the left and turns the page, all of the dots have fallen to the left hand side of the page. Like Dot, the illustrations are very, very simple, but that is part of what makes this book great.