Their dog is missing. Poppy and Cy decide to play a game of hide and seek in the woods near their home. It’s fun until Poppy can’t seem to find Cy either.
Title: Hide and Seek
Author: Anthony Browne
Illustrator: Antony Browne
ISBN: 9780857534910 (hardback); 9780552575041 (paperback) Language: English
Themes: loss, coping, family
What’s it about?
Poppy and Cy are feeling sad after their dog goes missing in the woods. In an effort to cheer each other up they decide to play hide and seek in the woods near their house. As Cy finds a hiding place and Poppy begins to search for him she becomes worried that Cy too might be lost.
The story is well-written without being overly confronting in regards to the missing dog. The text contains the children’s thoughts as Cy waits and Poppy looks as well as third-person description. Probably the most unique aspect of this book is the illustrations – I read the book and then discovered at the back that there are hidden objects and things in each picture.
Firstly, isn’t it great to see a book about siblings playing nicely today as well as playing an outdoor game that most are familiar with! I can’t remember the last time I read a book about hide-and-seek. Anyway, this is a new release for late 2017/early 2018 and also marks the author’s achievement of 50 (yes, 50!) picture books.
The story itself is about siblings, Poppy and Cy, who are bored and sad without their beloved dog Goldie. You really get the sense from the first page that the dog is an important part of their family and that these two children love playing outdoors – no TV or video games. This is a great feature to incorporate into the classroom – looking at how the students can connect to the characters – in terms of whether they have or have had a pet and what type of role they have in the family.
I really liked the mixture of storytelling. When the two kids are together at the beginning of the book you see dialogue between the two – once they are apart it becomes about inner thoughts. It of course makes sense but it is conveyed really well and I think lends itself to being a mentor text for developing writers to show that you can combine different methods (description, dialogue, thoughts, etc.) with great results.
Another small detail that I noticed in the illustrations was where the children lived. Their home is a caravan at the edge of the woods behind an apartment block. It’s good to see some diversity when it comes to where children live – in most books you see them in a house so this is a nice change that goes with the children’s love of nature.
Probably though the cleverest of aspects of this book is its ability to make you go back over it again. I had already enjoyed the book but got to the last page where it asks if I found things hidden in the pictures…and no, I hadn’t noticed…so off I went to go through the book again. While this doesn’t get students re-reading what it does get is them involved in appreciating books….in developing a love of books…and that is ultimately what as a teacher and parent you want.
I definitely recommend this one for your home or school library.