Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Review: Meeow and the Big Box

My absolute least favorite picture books are spin-offs. They feature characters from movies or TV shows and are typically a bore to read. For example, I enjoy the "Mater's Tall Tales" video shorts by Pixar. They are a silly follow-up series to the first Cars for Mater-lovers out there. However, I detest reading the "Mater's Treasury of Tall Tales." It is as though an editor picked the skeleton of the script for each video, crammed a few screenshots of the appropriate video in, and called it a day. It is no fun to read aloud.

There are so many better books out there! "Meeow and the Big Box" is, perhaps, the antithesis of a character book like "Mater's Treasury of Tall Tales." The main character is a black cat named "Meeow." I am not impressed that the author, Sebastian Braun, couldn't come up with a better name. His choice to name the cat Meeow (and the dog Woof, the sheep Baa in his other books in the "Meeow" series) is why I give "Meeow and the Big Box" four out of five stars. It otherwise would earn five out of five stars.

In "Meeow and the Big Box," Meeow takes a big brown box, paints it red, cuts a hole in it and creates a fire engine. It is a great book for a preschool engineer who likes to build. (In fact, empty boxes are often listed as favorite toys for children.) It is also a great book for preschool engineers who are interested in trucks. My daughter was pleasantly surprised at the crux of the book when the author/illustrator unveils that Meeow has made his very own fire engine!

It is a simple book. The backgrounds are not cluttered with "extras." The brown box painted red goes from being a brown square to a red square. Nothing is drawn in perspective or colored with crazy colors or patterns. And, in this book, I like that the pictures are simple. It helps drive home the moral of the story - imagination is the key to turning something simple like an empty cardboard box into a full blown fire engine. Let your preschooler imagine the possibilities!

[Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I receive a small referral fee at no cost to you. To see how I spend the money see my "Philanthropy" page. ]

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