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Look! A Book!
By Bob Staake
Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316118621
ISBN 10: 978-0316118620
Return To All Books

Behind The Pages With Bob:

"This book came out of a lunch I had with my editor at Little Brown. I was telling her that as a child I loved to 'read', but for me reading was looking at pictures. Even then I was amazed with the level of information and stories contained in simple illustrations, and I suggested to her that LOOKING is indeed a form of reading - a child's 'entry drug', as it were, into the world of words and sentences and paragraphs and more. She thought I should build a book around this idea, and I suggested that we simply call it 'LOOK' -- and perhaps that could be the only word in the entire thing. As the project progressed, I realized we needed to do more than that, and so we came up with a die cut system for the book that looks quite simple, but in fact it is highly complicated -- because as you turn the pages, the die cut holes actually must wotk on three distinct levels. I look at the dummy for the book and I wonder how th Hell I pulled it off (sheer luck!). I also like the fact that your eyes can't possibly take in everything in one 'reading' -- and each time you go back you discover more things hiding here and there. There are few books that have been as fun for me to create as 'Look! A Book!'"

-- Bob Staake


If you look carefully, you can spot the "Seville Brothers Barber Shop" hiding in a very busy midtown Manhattan scene.

In a crazy underwater scene, there is a mailbox -- for a household named 'Neptune.'

In the yard of the haunted house, tombstones can be found that read "J. Hoffa", "Disco", "RIP" and "S.A. Door Nail."

The creepy Diane Arbus twins make their first appearance in this book -- and can be found returning in the sequel, 'Look! Another Book!'

The book is cryptically (and graphically) dedicated to a person named Herman von Snellen. Can you guess why?

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Look! A book! A hook! A cowboy cook!
Weird and kooky things that go!
Some go fast and some go slow!
Can you find the squawking crow?

Go on a crazy seek-and-find adventure in this new picture book from award-winning artist Bob Staake. Die-cuts on every page draw readers into each themed scene and invite them to find the items hidden within the elaborately detailed spreads. From underwater worlds, to haunted houses and tree-top towns, there are endless details for readers to search for and discover. This inventive picture book format will have kids hooked from the very first die-cut page all the way through to the end where a gate-fold finale challenges them to go back for yet another look and even more surprises.

Staake is best-known and widely celebrated for his picture books and this visual feast is some of his most exciting and creative work to date!

Sample images from book (above)

Publishers Weekly

Staake's spreads are crammed with so much good cheer that it's almost impossible to look at them without smiling. Readers are directed to find small objects amid dozens of Staake's (We Planted a Tree) gleefully retro figures that crowd each picture: "Bubbles! Bubbles! In the sea! AQUA-GOOFY JUBILEE! Search to find the honeybee!" (With four submarines cruising the depths of this underwater scene as well as a whale with a restaurant in its mouth, it takes a while to find the honeybee, who's circling-where else?-around Uncle Sam's hat.) As if this weren't enough, intervening pages have dime-size die-cut openings that reveal tiny details readers may have missed: "Look! A bowl! A troll! A barber pole!" With polished typography, minty-fresh layout, and crisp-edged figures, the book stays tidy despite the frenetic action, and the rhymed and metered text is carefully wrought. Kids will love the robots and the wacky machines, and adults will appreciate the asides: "WAX FRUIT," says a billboard, "When you need a break from reality." Likely to have a long stay in the bedtime pile.

School Library Journal

t is a good thing that the publisher chose to make this book with a glossy, sturdy cardboardlike paper because sticky little hands will be giving it a real workout. What little text there is offers a rhyming clue for readers to figure out before they set off to hunt for the answer in the picture. "Bubbles! Bubbles! In the sea! AQUA-GOOFY JUBILEE!/Search to find the honeybee!" The pages are bursting with colorful and wacky things to find, and children will pore over the pictures searching for the vampire cape, the squawking crow, or the swirled ice cream. What fun to hunt and hunt and be able to say, "Here it is!" The book ends with a rhyme and a foldout page that ask readers to start all over again and find 1 cow, 2 bicycles, 3 pigs, and so on until they reach 12 red books. The endpapers are filled with children with their noses in books, which is exactly what will happen when youngsters open this one. This clever, engaging, and fun selection is great for family sharing.


From dinosaurs to flying saucers, mummies to robots, a glorious cornucopia of stuff to find hides in plain sight on the pages of this picture book. At first glance, the format is familiar to children who know Jean Marzollo's I Spy series: a poem includes clues to items that appear on a colorful companion spread. Dig a little deeper, though, and more layers of fun unfold. Between the dizzying, packed scenes are quieter pages with round die-cuts that expose a few more rhyming items to find. Staake's vivid, energetic digital illustrations are brash and colorful, with a mid-century spin. Young viewers will want to watch for characters and objects that often reappear in incongruous vignettes (what's that ogre doing in the submarine?). A concluding foldout page offers an invitation to start over with a countdown of more things to hunt for. An ebullient, witty title that children will return to again and again.

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