Barnett starts with a straightforward question ‘How many animals can you see in this picture?’ accompanied by Christian Robinson’s unambiguous collage style illustration that includes the feathered, the furred and others. Turn the page and we have a large, somewhat scary-looking tiger partially hidden by leaves and a wry question that invites readers to be imaginative in their responses: ‘How many animals can you not see in this one because they’re hiding from the tiger?’
The remaining questions become more whimsical, with some being more open ended than others. ‘Which of these ladies just robbed a bank?’ Mac Barnett asks, the text being set above a row of six women, all differing in skin colour, age and dress past which a police officer is driving in the opposite direction.’ Giving a broader imaginative canvas for instance, is ‘How did that cow get all the way up there?’ There, being a wind turbine atop which the animal is standing.
Clever, interactive and offering plenty of opportunities for flights of fancy on the reader’s part since there are no pictorial clues to help answer the questions. This would be great fun to use in the classroom, or with an individual child, so long as you have lots of time to let imaginations soar.