Parts of a Whole by Magda Garguláková and Federico Bonifacini


Parts of a Whole (Neatly Organized Things) by Magda Garguláková and Federico Bonifacini. Albatros, 2022. 9788000063584

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Format: Hardcover

What did you like about the book?  In this continuation of the Neatly Organized Things series, a cat named Ada tells us she’s really interested in the component parts of various things. Would we like to help her deconstruct an array of everyday objects?  Once again, we see a large image on the left side of the page paired with its contents, shown on the right side of the page in minute detail. We start with a bowl of fruit salad, which contains grapes, bananas, blueberries, kiwi, and so on. Then we’re on to a sandbox, which has sand (of course) but also toy trucks, children, buckets, and some tongue-in-cheek discoveries, such as ants and “things left behind”. The bright digital art is clear and snappy and young children will enjoy the assortment of objects as well as their realistic proportions. For example, the bowl of alphabet soup has a lot of letters, fewer carrots, and just a few slices of celery. Other highlights include a hockey team (this is a Czech import) including 16 adult men in their underwear, a chamber orchestra, complete with multiethnic and multi-gender musicians and their instruments, and an oak tree made up of leaves, but also birds, bugs, and squirrels.

Anything you didn’t like about it? N0. Overall, I thought this volume was more successful than its companion, What Goes Inside? 

To whom would you recommend this book?  Children aged 3-5 who enjoy pouring over illustrations and chatting with their adult caregivers. I can imagine this book being very diverting in a doctor’s waiting room or on a bus.

Who should buy this book? Daycare, preschools, 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: June 13, 2022

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