Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book

5:52 PM Posted by Erin Tales

It's no secret that my toddler and I love the Gossie & Friends collection of books. Gossie, Gertie, BooBoo, Ollie and Peedie are such wonderfully simple characters. So when we found Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book at the library I grabbed it. And ever since it arrived at our house, Keegan has read it and reread it repeatedly.

Unlike the other books, this book is HUGE. The other books in the series measure 6 by 6 inches, whether they are the board book version or simply hard covered. But Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book is 10 by 10 inches. Here is the best shot of Keegan holding it so you can see how big it really is. The pages are board, making them sturdy so that we can open flaps and peer at hidden illustrations and text.

Another great aspect of this book is that it introduces useful concepts for babies and preschoolers. It touches on colors, seasons, counting to 5, up-down-over-under and matching. This is where the flaps come into play, covering additional pictures and text to help reinforce these concepts.

For example, on one spread it introduces BooBoo as a blue gosling on the left hand page. It wants us to find something on the facing page that is blue like BooBoo. One flap shows yellow straw, another has red apples and the final is a blue dish. Under each flap it asks if these items are blue like BooBoo. But if you lift the flap with the straw, underneath it you see a picture of Gertie and the text reads, "No, it's yellow like Gertie." Under the apple flap it has a picture of Gossie looking at her red boots. The text says, "No, they're red like Gossie's boots." And under the food bowl flap it shows BooBoo eating from her blue bowl and it says, "Yes, just like hungry BooBoo!"

The illustrations are simple, charming and have special surprises hidden in the simple pen, ink and watercolor artwork. For example, revisiting the blue bowl flap there is a mouse eating from the bowl and two humming birds whizzing by. When you lift the flap you now see the mouse is still eating from the bowl, BooBoo is now enjoying a bite too and the humming birds are zigg-zagging around.

Gossie & Friends: A First Flap Book is 12 pages, including cover, and approximately 200 words. It is copyright 2006 by Olivier Dunrea and published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

I found it to be a delightful change of pace from the other charming Gossie series of books. It had educational value, fun flaps and is HUGE hit - both in size and content. We love it. An immediate household hit. I hope you read it soon.
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