Where is Everyone?
by Tom Schamp
Review Copy from Prestel
Last year I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing Tom Schamp’s oversized, exuberant, engaging oversized picture book, It’s A Colorful World. I immediately fell in love with his detailed, sort of kooky, richly colored illustrations and his visual storytelling style. I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Where is Everyone? and, even though, being a lift-the-flap board book, it is smaller in trim size and the illustrations are more singular, Schamp’s style remains completely enchanting and evocative of early Ricard Scarry (think Ole Risom’s I Am a Bunny).
Over the course of fourteen pages, a ducking wanders in and out of different domestic settings, curiosity prompting questions on every page. Sometimes the shape of the item on the page, or the item itself, lend clues to questions like, "Who keeps a cool head?" which is asked while peering up at a refrigerator. Opening the door/flap reveals a polar bear and two penguins amidst the eggs, jam, mustard, and a box labeled, "Eyes." A cup of tea and the question, "Who is very thirsty?" reveals a chimpanzee on a surfboard holding a glass of juice. There isn’t much rhyme or reason and no narrative, but what you do get is a glimpse into Schamp’s imagination and it is really fun. Readers will laugh with surprise on every page. While I especially love the final pages where a gift and a four-tiered cake reveal special treats, I think my favorite page has to be where a toaster, a piece of toast popping up, reveals a hamster with ears in the shape of the toast!
Where is Everyone? is an out of the ordinary, marvelously illustrated board book with European sensibilities that is sure to delight.
September 2, 2021 at 04:25AM Tanya