There’s not too much to say about Maisy that hasn’t been said already by sales of 21 million of more than 20 titles in 29 languages. She comes in flat books, lift-the-flaps, pull-the-tabs, pop-ups, DVDs, TV series and sundry merchandise. All those 3+-year-olds can’t be wrong.
Here she is again, this time in a ‘Pop-up and Play Book’, rehearsing a show – in her 20th birthday year – starring the usual crowd. Maisy tip-tap-dances across the page when you pull the tab, Eddie the Elephant flaps his ears and flips a ball, Charley the Crocodile does a mid-air somersault, Cyril Squirrel does a disappearing trick leaving nothing behind but his wizard’s cap, and Tallulah the Little Chicken twirls and whirls around a glittery mirror in her tutu. Finally, a stage comes thrusting off the page and the curtains are drawn back to reveal the entire company doing their respective things.
The paper engineering matches the strong and simple colours of the illustrations and the directness of the prose. We are not in the realms of the coffee-table delights (and vulnerabilities) of a Sabuda or the sudden surprises of a Pieńkowski. These devices are made to withstand repeated tweaks from very young fingers – it’s a book for children to love and own for themselves.