Review also includes:
Whose teeth?, 978-1905117031
Rowe has produced a whole series of Whose books. Whose tail? Whose baby? Whose ears? Whose feet? and even Whose poo? In each book a flap hides the body of an animal. All that protrudes is the body part named in the title, such as the nose. We lift the flap and find out who owns the body part. The process is repeated with six different animals until the end of the book, where the final animal, without a flap, is a human child.
Animals are one of the first categories that infants learn to differentiate. When combined with the fact that most babies and toddlers love a book that uses bold colours and stark contrasts, then the Whose series looks like a sure hit. So when the target audience (9-18 months) interacts with these books, why do they lose interest so quickly?
Perhaps the problem lies with the subject matter. Small children love repetition, but not when it becomes tedious or overly predictable. Perhaps by the time Rowe was getting to Whose teeth? she had used up all the obvious body parts. Rowe’s artistry is certainly bright and bouncy, but in Whose nose? the mouse and the dog’s nose look exactly the same. For this age group, such errors in design make all the difference between a child’s personal favourite and yesterday’s recycling paper. No doubt this series will help infants to learn how to relate to books, but at the end of the day there are many books in the marketplace that just do the job better.