Where’s the Baboon? is described as a “super bookgame” by author Michael Escoffier and illustrator Kris Di Giacomo. The story hits the ground running when a pair of mice scamper by, hoisting a pencil with a fellow mouse balancing on top. He calls out, “Let’s go search for hidden words!” and the game is on. Escoffier and Di Giacomo’s clever follow-up to Take Away the A will engage parents and children alike.
School is fun when the classroom is full of Di Giacomo’s cheeky animals. The headmaster is a bell-ringing hamster, and a big, long-armed ape presents an apple to the teacher. Mouse uses paint brushes for stilts, a seal wields one with his flipper, and apron-wearing Pig stands at the easel painting. While all this is going on, leading questions direct the scavenger hunt for words within words.
Later on, Pig seems to be eating school supplies as the three crafty mice rappel up a tower of number blocks. There is a mouse-juggling cow, a snake clipping snowflakes, and much, much more in this playful romp of a book. Call it what you like, but Esoffier and Di Giacomo appear to have another hit on their hands. After all, they put the “boo” in baboon. The excitement of a surprise birthday party flies right off the pages when the missing guest suddenly appears in a shower of bright ribbons, balloons and confetti. Wordplay and fun—what’s not to like?
Billie B. Little is the Founding Director of Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, a hands-on museum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.