Inside the Suitcase by Clotilde Perrin, translated by Daniel Hahn. Gecko Press, 2020. 9781776573431
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? In this magical lift-the-flap book, the text speaks directly to the reader, inviting them along on the journey. Hillsides peel away, doors open, a suitcase is filled with mysterious objects. A cat voices what the reader is thinking: “I wonder why he needs all those things?” As in any good fairy tale quest, each of the seemingly mis-matched items plays an important role, if our hero is able to puzzle it out. Readers will delight as each flap reveals more secret flaps and the story rolls on with suspenseful cliffhangers. Sometimes, the text asks questions and attentive readers will enjoy shouting out the answers.
Originally published in French, the story and pictures have a European bent that may feel unfamiliar to American children. The text is in cursive, which may also feel exotic to readers. This enhances the sense of adventure.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommended to readers who enjoy adventure stories and interactive books. Anyone old enough to manipulate the flaps might enjoy it. I could see young readers being inspired by Inside the Suitcase to create their own fun adventures and multi-layered fold out books.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA
Date of review: August 19, 2021