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First book thrills

Book

by Kristine O'Connell George

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Illustrated by Maggie Smith

Clarion Books

31 pp., $9.95

Ages 1-4

Kristine O'Connell George's "Book" is a joyful way to give a toddler his or her first read. This simple poem tells of a tot's happy reaction to receiving a new book: "I can read you to the cat,/ or upside down, or maybe .../ wear you like a hat!" The realistic antics captured by illustrator Maggie Smith are a sheer delight. Her keen eye adds plenty of believable details to this charming, kid-friendly story. Pages glow with lush colors and a tangible affection. This is sure to be a favorite for littlest readers, and its heavyweight paper makes for easy page-turning.

• Karen Carden reviews children's literature for the Monitor.