Wednesday, December 14, 2011

13. Calling All Mechanics

Under the Hood
By Albin Michel Jeunesse
Candlewick, 2011
$14.99. ages 3 and up, 14 pages.

Readers open flaps within flaps to help Mr. Bear figure out what's gone awry with his sporty red convertible, in this stylish gem.

Walking up to his garage in blue coveralls, Mr. Bear calls for his friends to help him figure out why his car's engine has spluttered to a stop.

First, readers must open the garage doors and lift off the car's cloth cover. As they flip to the next page and peel back the car's vinyl top, Bear is in the driver's seat revving the engine.

But what's that funny sound?

Looks like Mr. Bear's friend Mouse needs to open the back hatch.

As readers lift the hatch's paper flap, a green tail flap appears. Underneath that, they see a wide fanny in blue overalls and a poof of exhaust. What could that be?

Better look under the hood on the next page.

Oh, Crocodile, what are you doing inside the engine? And is that you, bird?

Okay, guys, now that everyone's here, it's time to jack up the car and make repairs, and to do this readers will have to fold up the page.

Next, it's time for a test drive.

But first, readers must rummage through parts boxes and pack up a toolbox (just in case the car breaks down again.)

And they're off!

Uh oh, what's all that smoke?

Looks like the fix-it crew will have to tow Mr. Bear's car back to the garage and start the book all over again.

What a charmer!

The pictures look as if they were painted directly onto the book.

And with every flap, readers feel like they're right in there: squishing into tight spaces with a belt loaded down with wrenches.

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