Find Fergus by Mike Boldt. Random House, 9781984849021, 2020
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? This is a playful re-imagining of Where’s Waldo?, except instead of it being very difficult to find Fergus, it’s ridiculously easy. Fergus is a large, caramel-colored bear with glasses who wants to play hide and seek but he’s a bit dim. When we first meet him, his bulk is clearly visible behind a sapling. Next, he tries hiding in a group of rabbits but once again, we can quickly find Fergus. How about inserting himself into a group of polar bears instead? You get the idea. A nameless and omnipresent narrator keeps offering suggestions until Fergus gets the idea and succeeds in hiding himself in a 4 page hinged foldout, filled with all the crazy creatures we’ve seen in the book. I think the illustrations are digital and they resemble old-Sunday morning comics, with their flat planes of color, simple black outlines and small flourishes to add texture and character. A list of other things to find fills the endpapers at the back of the book, sending readers back in to find a pair of socks, 10 hats, a moose and so on.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The fold-out section seems destined for destruction, and without it, the book has no purpose. My review copy was already splitting along the folds. I would immediately reinforce these pages with book tape before adding it to the collection.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is an entertaining exploration of how things are the same or different, sort of a math-type concept, so instructional for ages 3-5. Also a fun choice for those who love look-and-find books but find most of them too daunting for younger kids.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school or public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: December 29, 2020