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The Picture Book Buzz

Don't Blink - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Strolling through the bookstore, looking for a mentor text for a critique partner, I glanced up and saw this cover. The face of the girl and the tortoise immediately captured my attention. Then I was teased by the extra four pages, of a girl balancing on rocks, before getting to the copyright and title page.

Initially, the front pages brought back to me the joy I experienced balancing barefoot, climbing wobbly, precarious, slippery rocks along the Oregon coast. Visits to my grandparent's in Seaside, Oregon always resulted in hours at the beach and scrambling along the rocky shore.

Then my writer brain took over and I flipped the page was immediately hooked into a fun interactive story. Though slightly unusual in pagination, this is a wonderful debut picture book.

Don't Blink

Author/Illustrator: Tom Booth

Publisher: Feiwell and Friends (2017)

Ages: 3-6



Animals, games, and humor.

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):

Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all them—AND a bunch of their other animal friends—at the same time? You're about to find out!

Whatever you do DON'T BLINK!

Readers will enjoy testing their own staring skills against a vibrant assortment of characters in this interactive picture book from talented new author Tom Booth.

Opening Lines:

Are you ready?

On your mark . . .

Get set . . .


Excuse me, what are you doing?

I'm having a staring contest.

Why I Liked this Book:

The simplicity of the story will make it easy for the younger reader (listener) to follow along. While the repetition of the phrases - "Excuse me, what are you doing?' "May I join?" & "Just Don't Blink." - will encourage them to chime in.

The girl's face, staring right at the reader, draws you right in. And almost dares you not to participate. Draw in a style reminiscent of Disney and anime, it will appeal to many young readers.

Each animal that joins this charming girl faces the reader with big, staring eyes and is introduced with different colored text. Until, eventually, the reader has an entire page of eyes staring at them. The girl tells the animals to "Stay strong, everyone."

They struggle and and try to keep their eyes open. All the while, a tortoise lumbers closer and closer. Finally, . . . well, you'll have to read it to see who wins and discover the adorable image on the last page. This is a fun book for those who enjoy interactive, silly read-aloud books. Or those with a competitive streak.

Related Activities:

- read the author's "evolution of Don't Blink"

- try to have a staring contest with friends, parents, pets.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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