Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Knock Knock by Kaori Takahashi (Tara Books)

We truly love the way Tara Books playfully present their fabulous stories in engaging and innovative ways. Their amazing collection of world stories is enviable, and their diverse subjects are dazzlingly original.

So it's no surprise then to find that at first glance "Knock! Knock!" looked like a tiddly pocket sized story book to us.

Oh how wrong could we be! Be prepared for a journey par excellence as a little girl arrives home from school to find her beloved bruin companion is missing!

Any parent will be able to tell you that toddlers will not rest until their favourite toy is found. This resourceful little girl embarks on a journey through the block of flats she lives in to track down her missing bear, meeting some VERY peculiar characters on the way.

So far, it's probably not blowing your socks off but let us describe the format of this book to you. It comes in a handy little hardcover sleeve, and once you take the actual book out, and open to the first page you realise that it's designed to open in a very specific way (thanks to some very clever folding / paper engineering). From right to left, up and down, then left to right, the book opens with a new page and a new part of the story as the girl's search continues. Up she climbs through the tower block, floor to floor and door to door - she must track down her lost bear!

The best surprise comes at the end of the book and it was by far our joint favourite bit, as the girl is finally reunited with her beloved cuddly toy. We won't spoil the end bit but it's fabulous fun, and it's also just as much fun to work backwards through the story as you fold the book back up (clear some floor space for this one, you're going to need it).

What a truly fantastic idea, simple but beautifully executed and gloriously illustrated too. "Knock! Knock!" by Kaori Takahashi is out now from Tara Books.

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