Baxter is a big blue critter who desperately loves books. He also would love to be IN a book. As he is out shopping one day he sees a sign for auditions to be a character in a book. Wow, here is his big chance! He auditions as hard as he can. He dances and sings and twirls with the best, but because he is not cuddly like a rabbit, or scary like a wolf, he is rejected. Baxter is bitterly disappointed, until the animals try to show him how to be cuddly or scary. It just doesn’t work because it is not him. However, there is a lucky break.
This book is beautifully presented. It is a large, hard back picture book with many colours and pictures to capture children’s interest. The animals portrayed all seem to be serious readers, especially when the book is about them. Books feature on every page, with a huge range of titles to read. Many of the characters are familiar. There are the three little pigs, the big bad wolf, rabbits and piglets galore, as well as a lion and crocodile, which will capture children’s love of recognising and naming animals.
There is humour, as one sees Baxter dance, and sadness as he is rejected. All these emotions are pictured clearly. The print is a good size, and varies from page to page, with important words enlarged. The font size varies as well, creating interest and variety. The illustrations vary from simple to detailed as appropriate, are colourful and show the animal’s pleasure or sadness. Visually the illustrations are a huge addition to the story.
Perhaps the only down side, is that Baxter’s problem of not being chosen to star in a book is not solved. Miraculously, as he is going home despondently, Baxter’s Book is presented to him. He had no part in solving his difficult situation. However, the quality of the illustrations and the story make it a worthwhile read.