100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Review: Look! A Book! by Bob Staake

Look! A Book!
By Bob Staake
Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316118620
Grades K-2
In Stores

*Best New Book*

If you throw an I Spy, a Where’s Waldo, and a fiction picture book into your children’s lit blend-o-matic and hit puree, what you get is Look! A Book! – pure entertainment in printed form. I can’t wait to start circulating this.

A boy and a girl pick up a book – the same book the reader is holding in their hands:



With images of every kind!

So many objects,

big and small.

Let’s see if you

Can find them


From here on out, the spreads alternate between rhyming text set against bold colors and incredible seek and find illustrations. The conclusion of the book lists many more objects to go back and locate, ensuring hours of happy hunting.

Staake’s bright, abstract style has never been more detailed, with wildly creative results. Robots serving orange juice, dolphins wearing football helmets, clowns in shopping carts, seals operating machinery – the wackiness is seemingly endless. Kids will be pleased.

More than just an I Spy read-alike, the amount of care and consideration that went into Look! A Book! is impressive. Circular die cuts reveal objects that become part of the text. Staake smartly names only one object for the reader to locate on each seek and find spread, a decision that keeps the proceedings moving along during the first reading.

The verdict on this book is short and sweet. Get it. For your children’s collection, your kids, your neighbor’s kids – basically anyone that is or even vaguely resembles a youngster. It will receive a warm welcome everywhere.

Review copy from publisher

Watch the Look! A Book! trailer:

Also reviewed by Boing Boing, Mundie Kids, books4yourkids.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. My 6 year old son loved this book also and I wanted to share his top 5 fav find and seek books with you: http://www.pragmaticmom.com/?p=16524

    What I really liked about this book (because I have now read this about two dozen times with my son)is that the book stays fresh because the author gives additional items to find (1-10 list) plus the very last page.

    Normally, we (well, mostly my son) look a lot the first read through, and then the second time, he can find each item in 1 second. By the third read through, it’s boring unless I make up things to look for in the book.

    Finding the 1-10 objects throughout the book is always a challenge and gives the book longevity as a desired book at bedtime.

  2. Wow. That looks like a lot of fun! I think I “vaguely resemble a youngster” so I’m going to check it out!

  3. Hey Travis,

    I’m just wondering if you have good source for children’s book trailers — other than doing a general search in YouTube. Are there any websites out there that highlight new book trailers for kids/teens? I’m a children’s librarian at winnipeg public library, and I’m hoping to incorporate book trailers into our new kids webpage.


    • Watch. Connect. Read. is a good place to check. The creator gathers all the video and online resources for particular books. If you use an RSS Reader, you can subscribe to publisher YouTube channels. That way you will know when they upload new book trailers. I used to only add book trailers to my reviews when I knew the book being reviewed had one, but now they’re so common, I do a quick internet search with each review. Does anyone else have a go-to resource?

  4. Definitely a winner – Bob Staake makes it look easy, doesn’t he? So glad Little, Brown went with the large format and the high-quality paper.

    • I agree on both counts. The heavy paper is nice for this sort of book – adds a bit of extra durability.